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[ou-tij] /ˈaʊ tɪdʒ/
an interruption or failure in the supply of power, especially electricity.
the period during which power is lost:
a two-hour outage on the East Coast.
a stoppage in the functioning of a machine or mechanism due to a failure in the supply of power or electricity.
the quantity of goods lost or lacking from a shipment.
Compare innage (def 1).
Aeronautics. the amount of fuel used during a flight.
Compare innage (def 2).
Origin of outage
1900-05, Americanism; out + -age Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for outage
  • It was the first major outage the service has suffered in months and possibly the first ever due to sabotage.
  • Once, during power outage, candidate shown rare-book stacks by flashlight.
  • The flashlight searching for the circuit breakers after a power outage.
  • The operators knew at once that the outage was citywide.
  • Previously, trucks had to wait until enough calls came in to let them triangulate the location of an outage.
  • Had a smart grid been in place, it might have helped isolate the outage and prevent it from spreading.
  • It's shocking that a power outage caused the current nuclear crisis.
  • Then there is no problem at all, unless of course there is an outage that day.
  • It seems really safe to keep three levels of security in the event of a power outage on the grid, as explained.
  • If there's a power outage or you realize you pressed the wrong button in the settings, you have to start all over again.
British Dictionary definitions for outage


a quantity of goods missing or lost after storage or shipment
a period of power failure, machine stoppage, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for outage

"period or condition in which electrical power is disconnected," 1903, American English; formed from out on model of shortage.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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