blackout: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (blak'out"), [key]
— n.
  1. the extinguishing or concealment of all visible lights in a city, military post, etc., usually as a precaution against air raids.
  2. a period during a massive power failure when the lack of electricity for illumination results in utter darkness except from emergency sources, as candles.
    1. the extinguishing of all stage lights, as in closing a vaudeville skit or separating the scenes of a play.
    2. Also calledblack&prim;out skit&sec;.a skit ending in a blackout.
  3. She suffered a blackout from the blow on the head.
    1. temporary loss of consciousness or vision:She suffered a blackout from the blow on the head.
    2. a period of total memory loss, as one induced by an accident or prolonged alcoholic drinking:The patient cannot account for the bizarre things he did during his blackout.
  4. a brief, passing lapse of memory: An actor may have an occasional blackout and forget a line or two.
  5. complete stoppage of a communications medium, as by a strike, catastrophe, electrical storm, etc.: a newspaper blackout; a radio blackout.
  6. a stoppage, suppression, or obliteration: a news blackout.
  7. a period during which a special sales offer, fare rate, or other bargain is not available: The airline's discount on fares does not apply during the Christmas week blackout.
  8. a prohibition that is imposed on the broadcasting of an event and has the purpose of encouraging or ensuring ticket sales.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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