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1. verb To weaken in electrical energy, typically resulting in dim lights. The construction currently underway in our building causes our lights to brown out all the time.
2. noun A period of reduced electrical energy typically accompanied by dim lights. In this usage, it is often spelled as one word ("brownout"). Thanks to the construction project currently underway in our building, we have brownouts all the time.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
[for the electricity] to diminish in power and dim the lights, causing a brownout. (Something less than a blackout, when there is no power.) The power kept browning out. The lights started to brown out, and I thought maybe there was a power shortage.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
See brown out
1. in. [for the electricity] to fade and dim down. (Something less than a blackout.) The power kept browning out.
2. and brown out n. a period of dimming or fading of the electricity. They keep building all these expensive power stations, and then we still have brown outs.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.