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lights out

Chiefly Military. a signal, usually by drum or bugle, that all or certain camp or barracks lights are to be extinguished for the night.
Origin of lights out
First recorded in 1865-70 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for lights out
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He came to a block where there were few pedestrians, where the great shops had their lights out and their night curtains up.

    The Brand of Silence Harrington Strong
  • The Night seemed listening—all lights out, all hearts at rest.

    The Patrician John Galsworthy
  • It was for talking after "lights out" that Randle and John were given a punishment of three days' confinement to barracks.

  • All were expected to be in bed and all lights out by half-past eight.

    A Forgotten Hero Emily Sarah Holt
  • The lights out; the younger man escapes, and the elder is found stabbed to death on the floor!

    Katerfelto G. J. Whyte-Melville
  • He advised Will and Elmer to come on softly with their lights out.

British Dictionary definitions for lights out

lights out

the time when those resident at an institution, such as soldiers in barracks or children at a boarding school, are expected to retire to bed
a fanfare or other signal indicating or signifying this
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for lights out

lights out

noun phrase

  1. Bedtime: Lights out is at 10:30
  2. The end; death; curtains: otherwise lights out for me

Related Terms

punch someone's lights out, shoot the lights out

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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