Pronunciation: (drop'out"), [key]
1. an act or instance of dropping out.
2. a student who withdraws before completing a course of instruction.
3. a student who withdraws from high school after having reached the legal age to do so.
4. a person who withdraws from established society, esp. to pursue an alternate lifestyle.
5. a person who withdraws from a competition, job, task, etc.: the first dropout from the presidential race.
6. Rugby.a drop kick made by a defending team from within its own 25-yd. (23-m) line as a result of a touchdown or of the ball's having touched or gone outside of a touch-in-goal line or the dead-ball line.
7. Also called highlight halftone. a halftone negative or plate in which dots have been eliminated from highlights by continued etching, burning in, opaquing, or the like.
8. Also called drop'out er"ror. the loss of portions of the information on a recorded magnetic tape due to contamination of the magnetic medium or poor contact with the tape heads. Also,drop'-out".
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.