Definition of blackout in English:


Syllabification: black·out
Pronunciation: /ˈblakˌout


  • 1 [often with modifier] A failure of electrical power supply: due to a power blackout, their hotel was in total darkness
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    • But in a country where electricity is in short supply and power blackouts are common, the frost-free and energy-efficient technology can be a major handicap.
    • A grid spokeswoman says there is little danger of blackouts, but power supplies are tight.
    • The island was plunged into a power blackout as electricity pylons and light poles crashed to the ground and telephone lines were ripped out.
    power failure, power outage, brownout
  • 1.1A period when all lights must be turned out or covered to prevent them being seen by the enemy during an air raid: people found it difficult to travel in the blackout [as modifier]: she peered out through the blackout curtains
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    • Use blackout curtains, eye covers, earplugs, extra blankets, a fan, a humidifier or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs.
    • The blackout system must incorporate an automatic shut off if there is an open hatch, door, or ramp.
    • So draw the blackout curtains and drown out the roar of the passing airplanes while you contemplate your email by the light of this cheery bit of decor.
  • 1.2 (usually blackouts) Dark curtains put up in windows to cover lights during an air raid.
  • 1.3A moment in the theater when the lights on stage are suddenly turned off.
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    • The frequency of entries, exits and prolonged blackouts during scene changes detracts from the performances.
    • The production looks chic in her design, but it is clumsy, with long blackouts after each scene, and lazily paced.
    • Where Mamet's play features blackouts, the film substitutes long, synthesized soft-rock montages.
  • 2A suppression of information, especially one imposed on the media by government: there is a total information blackout on minority interests
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    • The government has imposed a censorship blackout on the media and no journalists are permitted in the war zone.
    • They had imposed a strict blackout on media coverage of the coffins returning to Dover, claiming that it is was meant to protect the privacy of the slain soldiers' families.
    • Because the government and the media have imposed a blackout on the protest, it is not known how many are still refusing food and water.
    suppression, silence, censorship, gag order, reporting restrictions
  • 2.1A period during which a particular activity is prohibited: there are no blackout days during the travel period
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    • Every night families gather to watch Afghan TV, back on the air after years of Taliban blackout.
    • The company's compliance officer should be strictly enforcing blackout periods; Genesis recommends no trading the last one or two months of every quarter.
    • The same section prohibits insider trading of company securities by directors and senior executives during blackout periods.
  • 3A temporary loss of consciousness: she was suffering from blackouts
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    • Pacemakers are usually used to treat an abnormally slow heartbeat which can cause dizziness, fainting or blackouts.
    • Some known dissociative states induced by substance abuse include alcoholic blackouts and substance-induced amnestic disorder.
    • The vast majority of what is known about alcohol-induced blackouts is derived from research with hospitalized alcoholics.
    fainting spell, faint, loss of consciousness, passing out, swoon, collapse; Medicine syncope

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