brown·​out ˈbrau̇-ˌnau̇t How to pronounce brownout (audio)
: a period of reduced voltage of electricity caused especially by high demand and resulting in reduced illumination

Examples of brownout in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Translation: The rush to eliminate fossil fuels from the electric power mix could potentially expose America to large-scale brownouts or blackouts. William F. Shughart Ii, Fortune, 17 Nov. 2023 The Department of Energy is helping states to modernize their electric grids, which could allow more Americans to keep their air conditioners running without triggering brownouts. Courtney Subramanian, Los Angeles Times, 27 July 2023 The city of Frankfurt had ordered a brownout to protect it from Allied air raids. Wolf Gruner, The Conversation, 29 Aug. 2023 Can installing solar panels cut energy costs and prevent brownouts or blackouts? Adithi Ramakrishnan, Dallas News, 16 Aug. 2023 No brownouts as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas warned could happen this summer. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, 14 Aug. 2023 But even in cities, higher temperatures are straining the power grid, raising the specter of brownouts and blackouts if residents don’t manage their electricity use well. Jon Healey, Los Angeles Times, 7 Aug. 2023 When the power goes out, the battery takes over, giving you enough time to save your work and shut down, switch to an external battery pack, or keep working through short outages and brownouts. David Nield, WIRED, 9 July 2023 That report also indicated Texas would see brownouts amid the most extreme situations. Philip Jankowski, Dallas News, 13 June 2023 See More

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

Word History


brown + blackout

First Known Use

1942, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of brownout was in 1942

Dictionary Entries Near brownout

Cite this Entry

“Brownout.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


brown·​out ˈbrau̇-ˌnau̇t How to pronounce brownout (audio)
: a reduction in the use or availability of electric power
also : a period of dimmed lighting resulting from such reduction

More from Merriam-Webster on brownout

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