X Out: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
September 3, 2023

The expression "x out" is a decisive action indicating the removal, cancellation, or elimination of something. When someone says they'll "x out" something, they firmly state that a particular thing is no longer considered valid or relevant. Whether marking off completed tasks on a to-do list or deciding to exclude an option, "x out" conveys a clear and intentional choice to leave something out.

In short:

  • "X out" typically means to eliminate, remove, or cancel something.

What Does "X Out" Mean?

The phrase "x out" refers to the act of eliminating or disregarding something. By using this expression, the speaker emphasizes their decision to omit or exclude with purpose and finality.

Let's dive into its core meanings and usage:

  • To eliminate or remove something, often by drawing an X over it.
  • To cancel or reject something or someone.

Aside from these primary definitions, some variations and expressions closely relate to "x out." Phrases like "cross out" or "strike out" can be used interchangeably in many contexts.

Where Does "X Out" Come From?

The origin of "x out" is closely tied to crossing out incorrect or unwanted items on a list or paper. Historically, the letter "X" has been used to symbolize negation or rejection.

Historical Use

"Let it be known that all items marked with an X are to be discounted from the final tally." – A notation from a 19th-century inventory document.

10 Examples of "X Out" in Sentences

Let's look at some sentences to understand the usage of "x out better":

  • I had to x out the last item on my to-do list because it was no longer relevant.
  • When I go downtown, I always remember to x out of all my apps to save battery life on my phone.
  • Whenever I work from home, I make it a point to x out of all distractions on my computer to stay focused.
  • I tried to x out the negative thoughts from my mind.
  • She didn't like the design, so she x'ed it out and started over.
  • No worries if you accidentally opened that app; just x out and continue with what you were doing.
  • Before I x out of our chat, I just wanted to say, "Love ya!" and hope you have a great day!
  • You can x out that option; it's no longer available.
  • I wanted to x out the past and start fresh.
  • "I'm glad to hear that you've resolved the issue," she said, as she watched me x out of the troubleshooting guide.

Examples of "X Out" in Pop Culture

  • In the movie The Notebook, a character x's out days on a calendar, representing the passage of time.
  • The TV show Survivor often shows contestants wanting to x out strong competitors.
  • The lyrics in the song "Cross it Out" by The Arctic Monkeys hint at the desire to x out specific memories.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "X Out"

  • Cross off
  • Strikethrough
  • Erase
  • Eliminate
  • Cancel
  • Reject

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "X Out":

  • What does "x out" mean in English?

It typically refers to eliminating, removing, or canceling something.

  • Where did the phrase "x out" originate?

The phrase is believed to originate from the practice of crossing out unwanted items on a list or paper using the letter "X".

  • Can "x out" be used in formal writing?

It's generally more casual, but it can be used in informal sections of formal documents or communications.

  • Is "x out" used in British English?

Yes, it's understood in British English, though phrases like "cross out" might be more common.

  • Can "x out" be used in a positive context?

Generally, it has a neutral or negative connotation, as it suggests removal or rejection.

  • Are there other idioms related to "x out"?

Yes, idioms like "cross out" or "strike out" have similar meanings.

  • How often is "x out" used in daily conversation?

It's fairly common, especially in contexts related to lists, planning, or decision-making.

  • Is "x out" a phrasal verb?

Yes, it's considered a phrasal verb because it combines a verb ("x") with a preposition ("out") to convey a specific meaning.

  • Can "x out" be written as "X out" with a capital X?

Both forms are acceptable, but "x out" (with a lowercase "x") is more common in written form.

  • Is "x out" used in other languages?

While the concept might exist, the specific phrasing "x out" is unique to English. Other languages will have their own ways of expressing the same idea.

Final Thoughts About "X Out"

"X out" is a useful phrase to emphasize closure, termination, or dismissal. Whether you're a tech-savvy individual closing a browser tab, an artist making edits to a design, or just signaling the end of a digital interaction, "x out" can be a pertinent phrase to understand and employ.

Here's a quick wrap-up:

  • "X out" is a versatile idiom commonly used to express the removal or cancellation of something.
  • The idiom is historically tied to marking items with an "X" to indicate negation or rejection.
  • Whether you're reading a book, watching a movie, or having a casual conversation, you will likely come across this idiom. Understanding its meaning and origins can enrich your grasp of the English language.

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