on the outs

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English[edit]

Prepositional phrase[edit]

on the outs

  1. (chiefly US, idiomatic) On unfriendly terms; estranged.
    • 1961, Joan Didion, "On Self-Respect", in Slouching Towards Bethlehem:
      I marvel that a mind on the outs with itself should have nevertheless made a painstaking record of its every tremor.
    • 1964, John Anton Dahl, Student, School, and Society: Crosscurrents in Secondary Education, page 83:
      A second ill of this day lies in the trend of getting more and more on the outs with those who have been more successful than we.
    • 1998, Henry J. Frundt, Trade Conditions and Labor Rights: U.S. Initiatives, Dominican and Central ..., page 68:
      "The first country, Nicaragua, was a give-away," noted one State Department observer, referring to the GSP review of the country most on the outs with the administration.
    • 2003, John Wingspread Howell, Naked in Church, page 409:
      The fact that he and her sister seemed to be more on the outs than ever may have been half her motivation in leaving the door open a crack.

Synonyms[edit]

References[edit]

  • "on the outs" in Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary, © 2006-2007 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.