block out



"She found it difficult to black out her emotions."
Do you think that "black out" fits this sentence? How about "block out"?
  • Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Black out doesn't work here, to me. To black out can mean to hide something with black color, as when a censor blacks out prohibited text, or it can mean to lose consciousness.


    Senior Member
    Cymraeg Cymru
    To "black out" means to obliterate or extinguish.

    She found it difficult to block her emotions,

    She found it difficult to black out the memory of her experience.


    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    T.D-K said:
    To black out can mean suppress. So to black out one's emotions means to suppress emotions.
    I disagree. I can't imagine anyone saying or writing this.

    Here's what the OED says:

    to black out (trans. and intr.), to extinguish or obscure (lights), esp. during a stage performance, or as a precaution against air-raids; also intr. of lights, etc.: to be so extinguished or obscured. Also in extended uses.
    That's quite a specific meaning of "black out" that in my opinion cannot be extended to emotions.

    I agree that "block out" makes much more sense in this context.
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