blackout

noun
black·​out | \ ˈblak-ˌau̇t How to pronounce blackout (audio) \

Definition of blackout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a turning off of the stage lighting to separate scenes in a play or end a play or skit also : a skit that ends with a blackout
b : a period of darkness enforced as a precaution against air raids
c : a period of darkness (as in a city) caused by a failure of electrical power
2 : a transient dulling or loss of vision, consciousness, or memory an alcoholic blackout
3a : a wiping out : obliteration
b : a blotting out by censorship : suppression a news blackout
4 : a usually temporary loss of a radio signal
5 : the prohibition or restriction of the telecasting of a sports event
6 : a time during which a special commercial offer (as of tickets) is not valid usually used attributively blackout dates

black out

verb
blacked out; blacking out; blacks out

Definition of black out (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : blot out, erase blacked out the event from his mind
b : to suppress by censorship black out the news
2 : to envelop in darkness black out the stage
3 : to make inoperative (as by a power failure)
4 : to impose a blackout on blacked out the local game

intransitive verb

1 : to become enveloped in darkness
2 : to undergo a temporary loss of vision, consciousness, or memory

Examples of blackout in a Sentence

Noun the blackouts of World War II She keeps flashlights and candles handy in case of a blackout. He told his doctor he had been experiencing blackouts. Verb had spent most of her adulthood trying to black out memories of a wretched childhood with the delivery of the knockout punch, the screen blacks out, and in the next scene the boxer wakes up in the hospital
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Texans are still exposed to disaster if there is another storm and another blackout. Ross Ramsey, Chron, 19 Nov. 2021 As prices have fallen, batteries have also become popular among utility companies looking to balance out solar and wind power, and among homes looking for blackout insurance. Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov. 2021 The wake of the blackout situation of 2011 saw proponents of the various energy sources all taking shots at one another. David Blackmon, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2021 This blackout ended on October 19, and Perseverance jumped right back into its search for signs of ancient life on the red planet. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 11 Nov. 2021 Hyams and Fedanzo both worked that blackout as volunteers with the Emergency Operation Center at the Marin County Sheriff’s Office. Sam Whiting, San Francisco Chronicle, 1 Nov. 2021 Given the extended news blackout and the fact that the submarine hasn’t budged from Guam yet, indications suggest the USS Connecticut is badly hurt. Craig Hooper, Forbes, 3 Nov. 2021 The restaurant chain had begun a Halloween event on Roblox involving a giveaway of $1 million worth of free burritos shortly before the blackout began. Michael Schneider, Variety, 31 Oct. 2021 The restaurant chain had begun a Halloween event on Roblox involving a giveaway of $1 million worth of free burritos shortly before the blackout began. NBC News, 31 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As for images and videos, make sure to black out parts that could be identifiable to you, such as street names and/or house numbers. Essence, 8 Oct. 2021 Meanwhile, Dish said Sinclair threatened to black out 144 channels in 86 markets. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, 9 Aug. 2021 Under the records law, officials can black out parts of documents to keep names or personal information private. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 30 June 2021 This isn't a huge problem in a movie theater, where typical projectors use a shutter to black out the screen in between frames. Whitson Gordon, Wired, 6 Apr. 2021 The statute allows public bodies to black out certain information for privacy reasons, such as the name of a crime victim, but frequent FOIA filers complain that officials often go too far in omitting information. Courtney Kueppers, chicagotribune.com, 2 Apr. 2021 Usually, utilities black out certain blocks or zones before cutting off power to another area, then another. David Koenig And Michael Liedtke, The Christian Science Monitor, 18 Feb. 2021 Few countries place more restrictions on internet usage than Iran, which uses its centralized control of broadband services to throttle specific sites or black out access altogether. Brian Barrett, Wired, 6 Feb. 2021 Still, none of those things can excuse the fight that took place between the friends-turned-mortal-enemies in episode eight, which saw Samuels quite literally black out and put her hands on Dillard-Bassett. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, 28 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blackout.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of blackout

Noun

1913, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1824, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best portable generator of 2021.

Learn More About blackout

Time Traveler for blackout

Time Traveler

The first known use of blackout was in 1824

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near blackout

black-or-white

blackout

black out

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for blackout

Last Updated

23 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Blackout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blackout. Accessed 27 Nov. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for blackout

blackout

noun

English Language Learners Definition of blackout

: a period when lights are kept off or are hidden from view to guard against enemy airplane attack in a war
: a period when lights are off because of an electrical power failure
: a sudden and temporary loss of consciousness, vision, or memory

blackout

noun
black·​out | \ ˈblak-ˌau̇t How to pronounce blackout (audio) \

Kids Definition of blackout

1 : a period of darkness enforced as a protection against enemy attack by airplanes during a war
2 : a period of darkness caused by power failure
3 : a temporary loss of vision or consciousness

blackout

noun
black·​out | \ ˈblak-ˌau̇t How to pronounce blackout (audio) \

Medical Definition of blackout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a transient dulling or loss of vision, consciousness, or memory an alcoholic blackout — compare grayout, redout

black out

intransitive verb
\ (ˈ)blak-ˈau̇t How to pronounce black out (audio) \

Medical Definition of black out (Entry 2 of 2)

: to undergo a temporary loss of vision, consciousness, or memory (as from temporary impairment of cerebral circulation, retinal anoxia, a traumatic emotional blow, or an alcoholic binge) — compare gray out, red out

transitive verb

: to cause to black out

More from Merriam-Webster on blackout

Nglish: Translation of blackout for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about blackout

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!