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

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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

By 1989, more than a thousand electrical towers had been destroyed by the Shining Path, and Lima had grown accustomed to blackouts. Daniel Alarcón, The New Yorker, "What Led Peru’s Former President to Take His Own Life?," 1 July 2019 Argentina has had a history of blackouts, but none like Sunday's failure, in which the power outage was more geographically widespread. NBC News, "Hunt for cause of massive South America power outage begins," 17 June 2019 The company installed another in 2017 in South Australia to help stabilize the grid after a string of blackouts. David R. Baker, SFChronicle.com, "PG&E, Tesla team up on big batteries," 29 June 2018 This year, thousands of blackouts have hit Venezuela, darkening cities for weeks at a time. Anthony Faiola And Rachelle Krygier, chicagotribune.com, "A historic exodus is leaving Venezuela without teachers, doctors and electricians," 4 June 2018 Those who are not resigned to spending the next election cycle wallowing in a diet of comfort food, wine, and news blackouts have come up with some alternatives. Marisa Meltzer, Town & Country, "In the Age of Trump, We’re All Eating Our Feelings," 23 Apr. 2018 Texas’ grid operator is warning that there could be a risk of summer blackouts as the state’s power use is expected to reach new record levels. Rye Druzin, San Antonio Express-News, "Texas grid operator warns of possible rotating blackouts this summer," 2 Mar. 2018 Since the middle of 2016, the sytem has suffered a series of blackouts and breakdowns. Sharon Coolidge, Cincinnati.com, "911 employee who quit questions city manager's behavior, leadership," 28 Feb. 2018 From an economic development perspective, Rice said the company has a responsibility to ensure the city can meet energy needs without having long periods of blackouts. Kevin Litten, NOLA.com, "Does New Orleans need its own power plant? Council to consider Entergy proposal," 20 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

One of the guard’s bullets accidentally struck a female in a nearby classroom, according to the affidavit; that person is identified, but the name is blacked out. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "STEM School shooting suspect told police he targeted specific students; teens used cocaine before attack, affidavit says," 20 June 2019 International travel is valid from Aug. 20 through Dec. 11, 2019, with the exception of some continental U.S. travel blacked out dates Aug. 30, 2019 and Sept. 2, 2019. Darla Guillen Gilthorpe, Houston Chronicle, "Southwest Airlines' fall-travel sale, with prices starting at $49, ends Wednesday," 5 June 2019 In 2017, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation found dozens of tourists that fell violently ill — often blacking out — after drinking alcohol at popular all-inclusive resorts in Mexico. Rachelle Krygier, Washington Post, "Deaths in Dominican Republic could be ‘mysterious.’ But so far, all signs point to ‘normal.’," 20 June 2019 Separately, Judge Timothy Williams ruled that the Clark County coroner should release autopsy records of the shooter and the 58 people killed by gunfire, with victims' names blacked out. CBS News, "Judges order Las Vegas shooting records unsealed," 30 Jan. 2018 The state Supreme Court said the public had a right to see it, but ruled the names of priests and others who objected to the findings would be blacked out pending a September hearing on their claims. Marc Levy, The Seattle Times, "Report: Pennsylvania priests molested over 1,000 children," 14 Aug. 2018 The state Supreme Court said the public had a right to see it, but ruled the names of priests and others who objected to the findings would be blacked out pending a September hearing on their claims. Frank Miles, Fox News, "Stunning findings on report of Catholic Church abuse: Pa. priests molested more than 1,000 children," 14 Aug. 2018 Producers linked to Cyrus’ new music, like Miike WiLL Made It, Oren Yoel, and Andrew Wyatt have all blacked out their headers on Twitter too. Jessica Militare, Glamour, "Miley Cyrus Deleted Her Entire Instagram, and Fans Are Freaking Out," 15 July 2018 Both Germanwings and Lufthansa have blacked out their company logos on Twitter and Facebook. Thomas Houston, Popular Mechanics, "Germanwings Co-pilot Accelerated Plane Before Crash," 24 Mar. 2015

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

8 Jul 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 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

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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

Comments on blackout

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