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adjective \ˈblak\

Simple Definition of black

  • : having the very dark color of coal or the night sky

  • : very dark because there is no light

  • : of or relating to a race of people who have dark skin and who come originally from Africa

Full Definition of black

  1. 1 a :  of the color black b (1) :  very dark in color <his face was black with rage> (2) :  having a very deep or low register <a bass with a black voice> (3) :  heavy, serious <the play was a black intrigue>

  2. 2 a :  having dark skin, hair, and eyes :  swarthy <the black Irish> b (1) often capitalized :  of or relating to any of various population groups having dark pigmentation of the skin <black Americans> (2) :  of or relating to the African-American people or their culture <black literature> <a black college> <black pride> <black studies> (3) :  typical or representative of the most readily perceived characteristics of black culture <trying to sound black> <tried to play blacker jazz>

  3. 3 :  dressed in black

  4. 4 :  dirty, soiled <hands black with grime>

  5. 5 a :  characterized by the absence of light <a black night> b :  reflecting or transmitting little or no light <black water> c :  served without milk or cream <black coffee>

  6. 6 a :  thoroughly sinister or evil :  wicked <a black deed> b :  indicative of condemnation or discredit <got a black mark for being late>

  7. 7 :  connected with or invoking the supernatural and especially the devil <black magic>

  8. 8 a :  very sad, gloomy, or calamitous <black despair> b :  marked by the occurrence of disaster <black Friday>

  9. 9 :  characterized by hostility or angry discontent :  sullen <black resentment filled his heart>

  10. 10 chiefly British :  subject to boycott by trade-union members as employing or favoring nonunion workers or as operating under conditions considered unfair by the trade union

  11. 11 a of propaganda :  conducted so as to appear to originate within an enemy country and designed to weaken enemy morale b :  characterized by or connected with the use of black propaganda <black radio>

  12. 12 :  characterized by grim, distorted, or grotesque satire <black humor>

  13. 13 :  of or relating to covert intelligence operations <black government programs>

black·ish play \ˈbla-kish\ adjective
black·ly adverb
black·ness noun

Examples of black

  1. His hand were black with grime.

  2. <a little black dress blends into the night very well>

Origin of black

Middle English blak, from Old English blæc; akin to Old High German blah black, and probably to Latin flagrare to burn, Greek phlegein

First Known Use: before 12th century




Simple Definition of black

  • : the dark color of coal or the night sky

  • : black clothing

  • : a person belonging to a race of people who have dark skin : a black person

Full Definition of black

  1. 1 :  a black pigment or dye; especially :  one consisting largely of carbon

  2. 2 :  the achromatic color of least lightness characteristically perceived to belong to objects that neither reflect nor transmit light

  3. 3 :  something that is black: as a :  black clothing <looks good in black> b :  a black animal (as a horse)

  4. 4 a :  a person belonging to any of various population groups having dark pigmentation of the skin b :  african-american

  5. 5 :  the pieces of a dark color in a board game for two players (as chess)

  6. 6 :  total or nearly total absence of light <the black of night>

  7. 7 :  the condition of making a profit —usually used with the <operating in the black> — compare red

Examples of black

  1. The wall was painted in black.

  2. a mixture of grays and blacks

  3. She was dressed in black.

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of black

before 12th century




Simple Definition of black

  • : to make (something) black

  • : to refuse to work for or with (a business, employer, etc.) or to buy (goods, services, etc.)

Full Definition of black

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to become black

  3. transitive verb
  4. 1 :  to make black

  5. 2 chiefly British :  to declare (as a business or industry) subject to boycott by trade-union members

Examples of black

  1. He blacked his boots with polish.

  2. Labor union members have blacked the company.

13th Century

First Known Use of black

13th century


biographical name \ˈblak\

Definition of Black

  1. Hugo LaFayette 1886–1971 Am. jurist & polit.


biographical name

Definition of Black

  1. Sir James Whyte 1924–2010 British pharmacologist


geographical name

Definition of Black

  1. 1 river 101 miles (162 kilometers) E cen Louisiana flowing S into Red River

  2. 2 or in China Amo play \ˈä-ˈmō\ or in Vietnam Da play \ˈdä\ river 500 miles (805 kilometers) SE Asia rising in cen Yunnan, China & flowing SE to Red River in N Vietnam

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up black? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

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