nounchiefly North American
- A reduction in or restriction on the availability of electrical power in a particular area: the cities are experiencing brownouts as air conditioners are switched into overdriveMore example sentences
- With Edison's new system, brown-outs and black-outs were frequent, along with breakage and, at times, sparking and fires from short circuits and poor wiring.
- As the California power crisis of this summer demonstrates, deregulation brings with it the added risk of brown-outs and even black-outs that no facility can afford.
- Likewise, everyone has access to heat or lights with a simple flick of a switch; we don't suffer brown-outs or rolling blackouts, like some areas of the Third World.
1940s: after blackout.
More definitions of brownoutDefinition of brownout in:
- The British & World English dictionary