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

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 And if broadcasting that dead air was, indeed, a mistake, somebody just tossed approximately $5 million in advertising cash out the window. Eder Campuzano,, "Super Bowl 2018: And the most talked-about commercial is ... dead air," 4 Feb. 2018 The on-stage costume changes also felt uncoordinated and led to moments of dead air. Brandon T. Harden,, "'¡Bienvenidos Blancos! or Welcome White People': A chaotic mix of identity, Cuban history and white privilege," 22 Apr. 2018 Kohn and Silverstein, who also cowrote the script, have a tenuous grasp of comedic timing, often leaving a vacuum of dead air inside which the actors flail. Leah Pickett, Chicago Reader, "There's something ugly about I Feel Pretty," 20 Apr. 2018 On the flip side, a crappy edit can lead to dead air and thoughtless cuts that dull the impact of both the picture and the story. Caroline Framke, Vox, "How sharp editing took Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s “The Box” from good to great," 2 Apr. 2018 Several media writers made a connection between the dead air and the abrupt ending during the final episode of HBO’s The Sopranos. Rob Tornoe,, "NBC explains Super Bowl blackout seen by millions," 4 Feb. 2018 On opening night, there were several moments of dead air — nothing happening on stage and no music from the stage band. Lee Williams,, "'Folk City' revives nightclub's heyday with emotional force," 19 Feb. 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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Statistics for dead air

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for dead air

The first known use of dead air was circa 1943

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dead air


English Language Learners Definition of dead air

: a period of silence especially during a radio broadcast

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full of whispering sounds

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