School dropout is a major cause of attrition in schools globally, and its implications could be far-reaching. Evidence from previous studies has shown that the voice of those who have lived experiences of the phenomenon is missing. The present study investigated early school leavers’ conceptualization of school dropout from a Zimbabwean perspective. Twenty-two early school leavers from three sites in Zimbabwe participated in the study. The data collection strategies included focus group discussions, interviews, and life-story narratives. The findings indicated the need for an expanded definition of school dropout that goes beyond physical withdrawal from school. School dropout was understood as a traumatic personal experience, with psychological implications. It entailed deprivation of a meaningful future, retrieval of painful memories of school life, and a reflection of unresolved inequity in the education system. School policies and practices in the Zimbabwean education system should, thus, be sensitive to equity needs and provide professional counselling support to those affected and their families. Furthermore, skilled and emotionally stable personnel should be responsible for the country’s education system and economy.