blackout

noun black·out \ ˈblak-ˌau̇t \
|Updated on: 6 Aug 2018

Definition of blackout

1 a : 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
3 a : 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

Examples of blackout in a Sentence

  1. the blackouts of World War II

  2. She keeps flashlights and candles handy in case of a blackout.

  3. He told his doctor he had been experiencing blackouts.

Recent Examples of blackout from the Web

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.

First Known Use of blackout

1913

in the meaning defined at sense 1a

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

blackout Synonyms


black out

verb

Definition of black out

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

Examples of black out in a Sentence

  1. had spent most of her adulthood trying to black out memories of a wretched childhood

  2. with the delivery of the knockout punch, the screen blacks out, and in the next scene the boxer wakes up in the hospital

Recent Examples of black out from the Web

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

First Known Use of black out

1824

in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

black out Synonyms

Synonyms

blacken, close in, darken, dusk;

Antonyms

brighten, light, lighten;

Near Antonyms

dawn;

beam, glow, radiate, shine;

Related Words

dim, fade, wane;

gloom, lower (also lour);


BLACKOUT Defined for English Language Learners

blackout

Definition of blackout for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

blackout

noun black·out \ ˈblak-ˌau̇t \

Definition of blackout for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

blackout

noun black·out \ ˈblak-ˌau̇t \

medical Definition of blackout

: 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

: 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
: to cause to black out


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