Definition of blackout in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈblakˌout/


1 [often with modifier] A failure of electrical power supply: due to a power blackout, their hotel was in total darkness
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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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Syllabification: black·out

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