blackout

1 of 2

noun

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

black out

2 of 2

verb

blacked out; blacking out; blacks out

transitive verb

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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Yes, the media blackout will be in effect during the 108th running of the Indy 500. Katie Wiseman, The Indianapolis Star, 18 May 2024 Add a Pop of Color With These Blackout Curtains Adorn your windows with these gorgeous blackout curtains for an easy way to liven up your living space. Kirsten Chanel Webber, Rolling Stone, 16 May 2024
Verb
All Thursday, Friday, and Saturday travel are blacked out as part of this deal. Stella Shon, Travel + Leisure, 14 May 2024 If the sides don’t reach a new deal by next week or can’t agree on another extension, MASN would be blacked out to Xfinity subscribers. Hayes Gardner, Baltimore Sun, 1 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for blackout 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'blackout.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Noun

1913, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1824, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of blackout was in 1824

Dictionary Entries Near blackout

black out

blackout

black ox

Cite this Entry

“Blackout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blackout. Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

blackout

noun
black·​out ˈblak-ˌau̇t How to pronounce blackout (audio)
1
: a period when lights are kept off to guard against enemy airplane attack in a war
2
: a period when lights are off as a result of an electrical power failure
3
: a temporary dulling or loss of vision or consciousness
black out
-ˈau̇t
verb

Medical Definition

blackout

1 of 2 noun
black·​out ˈblak-ˌau̇t How to pronounce blackout (audio)
: a transient dulling or loss of vision, consciousness, or memory
an alcoholic blackout
compare grayout, redout

black out

2 of 2 intransitive verb
: 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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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