• synonyms


See more synonyms for brownout on Thesaurus.com
  1. the elimination of some or reduction of all electric lights of a city, especially as a precaution against attack in time of war.
  2. any curtailment of electric power, as by a severe storm.
Show More

Origin of brownout

1940–45; brown + out, on the model of blackout
Can be confusedblackout brownout
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for brownout

interruption, disruption, blackout, brownout, gloom, obscurity, dusk, dark, blackness, twilight, disconnection, failure, duskiness, murk, murkiness, eclipse, shadiness, dimness, shade, nightfall

British Dictionary definitions for brownout


noun mainly US
  1. a dimming or reduction in the use of electric lights in a city, esp to conserve electric power or as a defensive precaution in wartime
  2. a temporary reduction in electrical powerCompare blackout (def. 3)
  3. a temporary slowing down of the workings of the internet caused when too many users attempt to access it at the same time
Show More
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

brownout in Culture


A situation in which the voltage in a power grid is reduced below its normal level but not entirely eliminated. (Compare blackout.)

Show More


This reduced voltage can result in damage to many electronic devices.
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.