I am wondering if it is idiomatic or even meaningful to describe a leap as standout.

Example: "He took a standout leap into growing his business"

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    I personally don't recognise that as anything meaningful Can you justify it or what, please? – Robbie Goodwin Apr 28 '18 at 23:02
  • There is another use I want to ask about. For example, I wanna talk about the process someone took to make his business standout. Does "Leap to standout" have the same meaning as " The standout leap" ? – Amr Abdou Apr 28 '18 at 23:09
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    "standout" as an adjective is awkward. An outstanding student is better than a standout student. A standout leap suggests that the leap (and not the business) is outstanding. "to stand out" is the verb, not "to standout" – Xanne Apr 29 '18 at 0:43

"Standout" as adjective means "outstanding" or "exceptional." Merriam-Webster defines it as

prominent or conspicuous especially because of excellence

Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/standout

"Standout leap" means that the leap itself was outstanding/ exceptionally good. This would be most commonly used in the context of long-jump (the running horizontal leap in athletics).

According to Wikipedia,

At the 1991 World Championships in Athletics (Tokyo), Powell broke Bob Beamon's almost 23-year-old long jump world record by 5 cm (2 inches), leaping 8.95 m (29 ft 4​1⁄4 in). Powell's world record, since August 1991, still stands, making Powell the fourth person since 1900 to hold the long jump world record for over 20 years.

Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Powell_(long_jumper)

So you could say that

Mike Powell's standout leap on his 5th attempt broke the world record and won him the gold medal.

Online example of such usage:

Mara Quam was a triple winner for Kenyon-Wanamingo. She won the long jump with a standout leap of 18-7 1/4. The senior also won the 100 hurdles and triple jump.

Source: www.postbulletin.com

"Standout leap" has also been used in the business context:

The plumper equity cushion means SocGen will have to run harder to lift its return on equity above 10 per cent (...) So it is a relief that revenue is growing, with its resurgent retail bank, easier conditions in its international units (despite Russian strains) and — merci beaucoup Mario Draghi — a standout leap in equities sales, which rose three-fifths.

Source: Financial Times

So when you say "he took a standout leap in his business" the reader understands that he made outstanding progress (as in extraordinary growth in a particular quarter of the year). Now, if that is what you intended to convey then the usage is perfectly fine.

But one of your comments implies that your intent was to convey that

the leap he took made the business stand out.

If that is what you mean then that is what you should say!

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As an adjective, "standout" typically compares one person or thing to others in its field. Unless this sentence comes in the context of many people's leaps in growing their businesses, this doesn't make sense. Even then, it would be awkward.

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