brownout

[broun-out]
noun
1.
the elimination of some or reduction of all electric lights of a city, especially as a precaution against attack in time of war.
2.
any curtailment of electric power, as by a severe storm.

Origin:
1940–45; brown + out, on the model of blackout

blackout, brownout.
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World English Dictionary
brownout (ˈbraʊnˌaʊt)
 
n
1.  a dimming or reduction in the use of electric lights in a city, esp to conserve electric power or as a defensive precaution in wartime
2.  Compare blackout a temporary reduction in electrical power
3.  a temporary slowing down of the workings of the internet caused when too many users attempt to access it at the same time

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

brownout definition


A situation in which the voltage in a power grid is reduced below its normal level but not entirely eliminated. (Compare blackout.)

Note: This reduced voltage can result in damage to many electronic devices.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Still, this kind of offensive brownout is rare for this team.
Brownout and whiteout conditions are especially dangerous.
Brownout means a disruption of electrical or other similar power source for any reason.
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