[ blak-out ]
/ ˈblækˌaʊt /


Nearby words

  1. blackmun,
  2. blackmun, harry andrew,
  3. blackmur,
  4. blackmur, richard palmer,
  5. blackness,
  6. blackpatch,
  7. blackplate,
  8. blackpoll,
  9. blackpoll warbler,
  10. blackpool

Origin of blackout

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

Can be confusedblackout brownout Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for blackout

British Dictionary definitions for blackout


/ (ˈblækaʊt) /


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

Word Origin and History for blackout



also black-out, 1908 in the theatrical sense of a darkened stage, from black + out. Figurative sense of "loss of memory" is 1934 (verb and noun); as a dousing of lights as an air raid precaution, it is recorded from 1935. Verbal phrase black out, in reference to printed or written matter deemed objectionable and covered in black ink, is attested from 1888.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for blackout


[ blăkout′ ]


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.

Culture definitions for 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.)


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.