brownout

[ broun-out ]
/ ˈbraʊnˌaʊt /

noun

the elimination of some or reduction of all electric lights of a city, especially as a precaution against attack in time of war.
any curtailment of electric power, as by a severe storm.

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Origin of brownout

1940–45; brown + out, on the model of blackout

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH brownout

blackout brownout
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for brownout

brownout
/ (ˈbraʊnˌaʊt) /

noun mainly US

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
a temporary reduction in electrical powerCompare blackout (def. 3)
a temporary slowing down of the workings of the internet caused when too many users attempt to access it at the same time
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

Cultural definitions for brownout

brownout

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

notes for brownout

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.