dead air


Definition of dead air

: a period of silence especially during a broadcast

Examples of dead air in a Sentence

After the commercial, there were a few seconds of dead air before the show continued.
Recent Examples on the Web For maybe the first time in the film, there is dead air. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "‘Uncut Gems’ and Its Exquisitely Harrowing Soundscape," 15 Dec. 2019 And the score, by Daniel Lopatin, is both primal and astral, the searing noise that fills up all of the dead air (not very much, to be fair) and that serves to nudge everything else just a little bit louder. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "‘Uncut Gems’ and Its Exquisitely Harrowing Soundscape," 15 Dec. 2019 The Fox broadcast didn't cut away, and the duo of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman tried to fill the dead air with small talk. Nick Schwartz, Detroit Free Press, "Power outage interrupts Detroit Lions halftime show on Thanksgiving," 28 Nov. 2019 Open mouth, insert foot One problem with the 24/7 news cycle is people have to keep talking to avoid dead air on television. San Diego Union-Tribune, "3 Thoughts on Aztecs’ 23-14 win over UCLA," 8 Sep. 2019 The Coliseum is not a homer-happy ballpark because of its deep fences and dead air, but the A’s homer hitters are not intimidated. Scott Ostler,, "New pitcher Puk and old ballpark give A’s big advantage," 21 Aug. 2019 With so many lulls in competitive play, the Thomas & Mack Center can quickly bounce between deafening chants for Tacko Fall, and dead air ripe for shouting at the All-Stars sitting courtside. Jake Fischer,, "‘They Saw the Future.’ Clipper Darrell Relishes Kawhi Leonard, Paul George Blockbuster," 6 July 2019 Hold music is engineered to fill dead air and keep people on the line until help arrives. Sumathi Reddy, WSJ, "CVS Hold Music Divides the Nation: ‘Enraging’ or ‘Hypnotizing’?," 24 July 2018 How many times did their censors have to give us dead air time because somebody was swearing? Paul Daugherty,, "TML: USGA made its golf course the story, not its U.S. Open winner," 18 June 2018

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

circa 1943, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for dead air

Time Traveler

The first known use of dead air was circa 1943

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Statistics for dead air

Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dead air.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for dead air

dead air


English Language Learners Definition of dead air

: a period of silence especially during a radio broadcast

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