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A reduction or cutback in electric power, especially as a result of a shortage, a mechanical failure, or overuse by consumers.


1. (Electrical Engineering) 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. (Electrical Engineering) a temporary reduction in electrical power. Compare blackout3
3. (Computer Science) a temporary slowing down of the workings of the internet caused when too many users attempt to access it at the same time



any curtailment of electric power, esp. a voltage reduction to prevent a blackout.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.brownout - darkness resulting from the extinction of lights (as in a city invisible to enemy aircraft)brownout - darkness resulting from the extinction of lights (as in a city invisible to enemy aircraft)
aircraft - a vehicle that can fly
dark, darkness - absence of light or illumination
References in periodicals archive ?
Improves PLC system reliability :automatically detects short-circuit, open-circuit, brown-out, and overtemperature conditions.
This SBS design came about due to the off-line SBS's inability to provide an acceptable output voltage to the connected equipment during brown-out conditions.
TransoilCHECK provides a full suite of transformer oil analysis services to assist owners and operators in identifying potential transformer component failures before they occur, helping to keep electrical power systems up and running, reducing the risk of brown-outs and black-outs.
Coal industry lobbyists say the new rules will probably raise household electricity costs, prompt power brown-outs during heat waves and cold snaps and destroy jobs at coal mines and manufacturing plants.
Tripoli residents reported frequent black- and brown-outs, along with a severe shortage of water in August and September 2011.
Dropping coal plants from the mix will imperil the reliability of the grid, leading to forced black-outs and brown-outs, and affecting the quality of life of Americans.
Besides, he said Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Maranon has endorsed the project particularly because they already began experiencing long periods of brown-outs these days.
Electricity rationing has been introduced with controlled brown-outs that have made people even more frustrated with fridges and air conditioners often switched off at the hottest period of the year when outside temperatures peak at above 40 degrees centigrade.
Brown-outs require the movement of personnel among companies, which fire officials contend affects the continuity of the department's operations.
This summer, major blackouts and brown-outs plagued Queens and other boroughs throughout the City.
Then you could blame him for all the brown-outs and possible lost businesses in California, right?
The ISO or utility avoids brown-outs or black-outs and can maintain power even if primary generating capacity goes offline.