brown·​out | \ ˈbrau̇-ˌnau̇t How to pronounce brownout (audio) \

Definition of brownout

: 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

The advanced autopilot, which represents a significant evolution from from previous versions, also helps modulate hovers and landings, even easing descents into brownout or whiteout conditions when visibility drops to zero. Eric Adams, WIRED, "Airbus' H160 Helicopter Helps Save Pilots from Their Own Mistakes," 31 May 2018 West Bloomfield's main library was closed after suffering a brownout on Friday evening. John Wisely, Detroit Free Press, "Heat is here to stay through 4th of July holiday," 1 July 2018 Public services officials warned Cincinnati City Council Monday that having too few sanitation workers will lead to trash pick-up brownouts, meaning trash left at the curb in Cincinnati might not always be picked up on time. Sharon Coolidge,, "Stinky Cincinnati summer ahead? The city might not pick up your trash on time," 19 June 2018 Periods of high demand, such as a prolonged heat wave, can trigger regional imbalances in electricity supply and demand, leaving consumers to contend with price spikes and blackouts or brownouts. Charles Bayless And, WSJ, "Upgrade America’s 19th-Century Electric Grid," 4 June 2018 The freeze prompted rolling power brownouts and school and business closings in the D.C. area. Kevin Ambrose, Washington Post, "Historical photos of unparalleled polar vortex outbreaks in D.C.," 4 Jan. 2018 That means that North Korea earned more hard currency but had less power for its people, potentially exacerbating shortages that regular visitors say have caused increasingly severe brownouts in recent months. Jeremy Page, WSJ, "North Korea Is Making Millions of Dollars Selling Power to China," 16 Mar. 2018 The few brownouts that have occurred were weather related. Mary Ellen Klas, miamiherald, "Voter proposal would end electricity monopolies and create choice," 11 Jan. 2018 The latter category often comes down to MoviePass inadequately keeping up with its scale; Lowe says that demand for Black Panther tickets the first two weekends overwhelmed its system, leading to brownouts and slower response times in the app. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "As MoviePass Explodes, Its Growing Pains Hurt Subscribers," 7 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'brownout.' 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 brownout

1942, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for brownout

brown + blackout

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Time Traveler for brownout

The first known use of brownout was in 1942

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English Language Learners Definition of brownout

chiefly US : a period when the amount of electricity in an area is reduced because there is not enough for everyone who needs it

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Comments on brownout

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to mark by some ceremony or observation

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