blackout

noun
black·​out | \ ˈblak-ˌau̇t \

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

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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The tristate area is hit by a terrible rainstorm that causes a rolling blackout. Susanna Fogel, Glamour, "This Is What You’ve Got Mail Would Look Like 20 Years Later," 20 Dec. 2018 That network can island off from the larger grid and run on its own, at least for a limited time, if there is a blackout. David Roberts, Vox, "Clean energy technologies threaten to overwhelm the grid. Here’s how it can adapt.," 30 Nov. 2018 The electricity could then be used during an emergency or a blackout. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "South Australia is fueling energy storage investment," 27 Nov. 2018 What has worked so far for this group is a complete media blackout. Alessandra Stanley, Town & Country, "New Solutions for Managing the Most Troublesome In-Laws," 19 Oct. 2018 In some Floridian counties, like Leon and Franklin, nearly every electric customer is facing a blackout. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Hurricane Michael Death Toll Rises to 11, Infrastructure in Crisis Throughout Southeast," 11 Oct. 2018 Of the gray areas of consent with a college hookup, a blackout drunk taxi ride, a rough encounter at a bar that left me bruised and sore the next day. Vivian Ho, Marie Claire, "Women Do Lie About Being Sexually Assaulted, But Only to Themselves," 2 Oct. 2018 In 1977, a blackout hit the New York City area after lightning struck power lines upstate. sandiegouniontribune.com, "July 14, 1977: Blackout hits N.Y.," 14 July 2018 But a recharging station with six of these high-voltage chargers would put enough strain on the electricity grid to cause a blackout and melt ordinary power cables, said Ulrich Spiesshofer, ABB’s chief executive. Jack Ewing, New York Times, "Racing Series Helps Show the Way to a Battery-Powered Future," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Almost the entire page in which the plaintiffs describe that fine-tuning has been blacked out. Anemona Hartocollis, New York Times, "Harvard Rated Asian-American Applicants Lower on Personality Traits, Suit Says," 15 June 2018 The Journal Sentinel has heard from more than 170 tourists who have had terrifying experiences during trips, many blacking out after a couple drinks. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Be MKE: A viral video company, where to get coffee and Paul Ryan leaving Congress," 11 Apr. 2018 The woman in the Everlane trench coat did not black out this weekend. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "I used all the best stuff for a week and it nearly broke me," 12 Dec. 2018 After a night of heavy, heavy drinking during Jax’s birthday getaway to Mexico, Stassi was fast asleep with pizza and ranch dressing, Tom Schwartz was blacked out at another resort, and Peter was… being Peter somewhere. Danny Murphy, Marie Claire, "9 Dramatic 'Vanderpump Rules' Moments Nobody Can Ever Forget," 3 Dec. 2018 The incidents involve tourists blacking out after drinking small and moderate amounts of alcohol. Raquel Rutledge, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mother's nightmare at Mexico resort: 'There is more to this deeper darker story than we know'," 21 Feb. 2018 In terms of aesthetics, many Android smartphones have an option to hide the notch by blacking out the notch area and only showing icons there. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Pixel 3 XL review—Google software deserves better than this hardware," 15 Oct. 2018 Democrats have since negotiated with the FBI on what should be blacked out. Mary Clare Jalonick, The Seattle Times, "Congress releases redacted, declassified Democratic memo," 24 Feb. 2018 Marshall’s successful decadeslong crusade to keep blacks out of the NFL, the assimilation of the rival All-America Football Conference in the late 1940s, the lucrative partnership with TV. Edward Kosner, WSJ, "‘The League’ Review: Single Wing and a Prayer," 6 Nov. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of blackout

Noun

1913, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1824, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Statistics for blackout

Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for blackout

The first known use of blackout was in 1824

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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 \

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 \

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 \

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on blackout

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with blackout

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for blackout

Spanish Central: Translation of blackout

Nglish: Translation of blackout for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about blackout

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