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blackout

[ blak-out ]
/ ˈblækˌaʊt /
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noun

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Origin of blackout

First recorded in 1910–15; noun use of verb phrase black out

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH blackout

blackout , brownout
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use blackout in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for blackout

blackout
/ (ˈblækaʊt) /

noun

verb black out (adverb)

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

Medical definitions for blackout

blackout
[ blăkout′ ]

n.

Temporary loss of consciousness due to decreased blood flow to the brain.
Temporary loss of memory.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Cultural definitions for blackout

blackout

The complete loss of electrical power in a particular area. Blackouts can result from a natural disaster, a manmade catastrophe, or simply from an excess of energy demand over supply. (Compare brownout.)

notes for blackout

Rolling blackouts to match supply and demand have become increasingly common in the United States.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with blackout

black out

1

Obliterate with black, as in crossing out words on a page or print on a screen. For example, They have blacked out all the obscene words in the subtitles to make this movie suitable for youngsters. This usage may be derived from an earlier meaning, “to stain or defame,” which dates from the 15th century (and probably alludes to “blackening” a person's reputation). [Mid-1800s]

2

Extinguish all lights. For example, The whole town was asleep, as blacked out as London during the war. In the early 1900s this expression alluded to the lights in a theater, but from about 1940 on it meant darkening an entire city to hide it from enemy bombers.

3

Lose consciousness, faint; also, experience a temporary loss of memory. For example, I couldn't remember a single note of the music; I blacked out completely, or The accused man claims he blacked out after his first drink. This usage is thought to have originated with pilots, who sometimes fainted briefly when pulling out of a power dive. It soon was transferred to other losses of consciousness or memory. [c. 1940]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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