Blowout vs. blow out

  • Blow out is two words when it functions as a verb (e.g., blow out the candles). It is one word, blowout, when it functions as a noun. The noun may refer to many things, including (1) a sudden rupture, (2) a sudden escape of gas, (3) a lopsided victory in sports, (4) a large party, (5) massive spending, (6) massive profits, and (7) a serious fight or argument. Blowout also works as an adjective in phrases such as blowout victory and blowout party.


    British and Australian publications often use blow-out instead of blowout, but the unhyphenated compound is gaining ground.


    In the following examples, blowout is one word because it functions as a noun or adjective:


    Experts often liken it to a blowout in a car tyre. [Daily Mail]

    There was no blowout party full of 13-year-olds doing the electric slide. [Washington Post]

    In April, a blowout of a natural gas well in Pennsylvania spewed thousands of gallons of drilling fluid. [Vancouver Sun]

    But a funny thing happened on the way to the Cubs’ blowout loss. [Chicago Sun-Times]

    And in these examples, blow out is two words because it functions as a verb:

    Long gone are the days when Foran would blow out the candles on his cake and then head for the nearest nightclub. [Australian]

    All Broady could do was blow out his cheeks and solemnly shake his  head. [Guardian]

    Toronto went on to blow out the Yankees 16-7. [Winnipeg Free Press]

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