black

adjective
\ ˈblak How to pronounce black (audio) \

Definition of black

 (Entry 1 of 6)

1 : of the color black (see black entry 2 sense 2) a black sweater a black dog as black as coal
2 or Black
a : of or relating to any of various population groups having dark pigmentation of the skin black Americans
b : of or relating to African American people or their culture black literature a black college Black pride Black studies
3 : dressed in black (see black entry 2 sense 2) playing for the black team
4 : dirty, soiled hands black with grime
5a : 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
6a old-fashioned + literary : thoroughly sinister or evil : wicked When the King heard of this black deed, in his grief and rage he denounced relentless war against his Barons …— Charles Dickens
b : indicative of condemnation or discredit got a black mark for being late
c : heavy, serious the play was a black intrigue
7 : connected with or invoking the supernatural and especially the devil black magic the black arts
8a : very sad, gloomy, or calamitous black despair
b : marked by the occurrence of disaster black Friday
9a : characterized by hostility or angry discontent : sullen black resentment filled his heart
b : distorted or darkened by anger his face was black with rage
10 : having dark skin, hair, and eyes the black Irish
11 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 a ship that was declared black by the union
12a of propaganda : conducted so as to appear to originate within an enemy country and designed to weaken enemy morale Black propaganda … is the business of going to elaborate ends to spread half-true, misleading or downright false information to get your enemy in trouble.— Everett G. Martin
b : characterized by or connected with the use of black propaganda Press reports say that in addition to dropping leaflets over urban areas, messages were broadcast over two "black" radio stations, … both of which were operated by the CIA.Strategic Intelligence
13 : characterized by grim, distorted, or grotesque satire black humor
14 : of or relating to covert intelligence operations black government programs
15 : having a very deep or low register (see register entry 1 sense 4b) a bass with a black voice

black

noun

Definition of black (Entry 2 of 6)

1 : a pigment or dye of the color black : a black pigment or dye especially : one consisting largely of carbon
2 : the achromatic (see achromatic sense 3) color of least lightness characteristically perceived to belong to objects that neither reflect nor transmit light walls painted in black
3 : something that is black: such as
a : black clothing looks good in black
b : a black animal (such as a horse)
c baseball : the narrow, black edge of home plate a pitch on the black [=a pitch that crosses over the very edge of home plate]
4a : a person belonging to any of various population groups having dark pigmentation of the skin
b : african american

Note: Use of the noun black in the singular to refer to a person is considered offensive. The plural form blacks is commonly used to refer to black people as a group or community.

a position supported by both blacks and whites blacks and other people of color
5 in board games : the pieces of a dark color in a board game for two players (such as chess) black moves second
6 : total or nearly total absence of light the black of night
7 : the condition of making a profit usually used with theoperating in the black — compare red sense 6

black

verb
blacked; blacking; blacks

Definition of black (Entry 3 of 6)

intransitive verb

: to become black (see black entry 1)

transitive verb

1 : to make black blacked his boots
2 chiefly British : to declare (something, such as a business or industry) subject to boycott by trade-union members

Black

biographical name (1)
\ ˈblak How to pronounce Black (audio) \

Definition of Black (Entry 4 of 6)

Hugo LaFayette 1886–1971 American jurist and politician

Black

biographical name (2)

Definition of Black (Entry 5 of 6)

Sir James Whyte 1924–2010 British pharmacologist

Black

geographical name

Definition of Black (Entry 6 of 6)

1 river 101 miles (162 kilometers) long in east central Louisiana flowing south into the Red River
2 or in China Amo \ ˈä-​ˈmō How to pronounce Black (audio) \ or in Vietnam Da \ ˈdä How to pronounce Black (audio) \ river 500 miles (805 kilometers) long in southeastern Asia rising in central Yunnan, China, and flowing southeast to the Red River in northern Vietnam

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Other Words from black

Adjective

blackish \ ˈbla-​kish How to pronounce Black (audio) \ adjective
blackly adverb
blackness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for black

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of black in a Sentence

Adjective a little black dress blends into the night very well Noun The wall was painted in black. a mixture of grays and blacks She was dressed in black. Verb He blacked his boots with polish. Labor union members have blacked the company.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Fresh lobster, parsnip, butternut squash, and black truffle crème fraîche are enveloped in a buttery homemade pastry dough. Marcy De Luna, Chron, "The 10 best dishes at Houston's newest restaurants," 7 Jan. 2021 On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss tortilla chips and black beans with half of Cheddar. Kate Merker, Good Housekeeping, "Pulled Pork Nachos," 6 Jan. 2021 Erickson cited analysis showing Perdue’s appeal to black farmers in south Georgia. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "GOP wants to win Georgia to check Biden administration. Trump says there won't be one," 5 Jan. 2021 The mogul took to her Instagram to post a few fashion flicks posing in a chic black mullet. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Rihanna And Keke Palmer Bring Back This Retro Hairstyle," 5 Jan. 2021 Matt James, who is the first black Bachelor, is staying at The Estates, while the 30+ women vying for his love are staying at The Chateau, the main building of the resort. Mary Elizabeth Andriotis, House Beautiful, "The New Season of The Bachelor Was Filmed at a Pennsylvania Resort Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright," 5 Jan. 2021 Outside Kyiv’s metro stations, elderly women in head scarves and bedraggled war veterans beg for change, while nearby the streets are lined with luxury shops and petty gangsters run red lights in black SUVs without fear of rebuke. Aris Roussinos, Harpers Magazine, "The Armies of the Right," 5 Jan. 2021 She was struck by the black-and-white portraits on the dining room walls. Washington Post, "At 69, this photographer’s images are putting him in the spotlight," 4 Jan. 2021 Management recalled seeing a man outside the restaurant at closing time the night before, walking what was described as a black-and-white collie and acting suspiciously. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Would-be burglar’s dog may have dropped some evidence at the scene: Orange Police Blotter," 31 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This cute matching set, available in black and red, will get you up and running, with a place for trash, notes, mail and more. Courtney Thompson, CNN Underscored, "35 products to organize every corner of your home," 5 Jan. 2021 Has every black in contemporary showbiz bought into the same self-deprecating cynicism? Armond White, National Review, "The Fiasco of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom," 1 Jan. 2021 Earlier this month, a day of largely peaceful demonstrations descended into violent chaos as night fell and small bands of Proud Boys dressed in the group’s signature black and gold garb roamed downtown looking for a fight. Washington Post, "Jan. 6 protests multiply as Trump continues to call supporters to Washington," 31 Dec. 2020 The commercialism evidenced by the fights for toys and TVs at retailers who go from red to black in the days leading up to it. Essence, "Finding Joy, Peace And Healing During A Pandemic Christmas," 22 Dec. 2020 His next video showed two cows, one brown and one black, roaming on a field looking for food. Tierney Mcafee, Country Living, "Carrie Underwood's Husband Mike Fisher Gave Her Two Cows for Christmas," 20 Dec. 2020 Not everyone likes their coffee black, and that’s OK. John Kennedy, Popular Science, "Gifts to turn any coffee-lover’s kitchen into a cafe," 17 Dec. 2020 The musical instrument company Panda Drum offers handmade steel tongue drums in a variety of bright colors and a classic black. Magnus Berger, WSJ, "The Holiday Gift Guide for Music Geeks—From a Music Geek," 15 Dec. 2020 For men, these leather Warner Grand Bit loafers drop to $39.97 in black, down from their original $300—that's a discount of 87%! Melissa Lee, USA TODAY, "Leather Cole Haan shoes and bags are up to 87% off right now," 16 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But the librarian would always find them and black them out. courant.com, "CT Poets’ Corner: The prose poetry of Charles Rafferty reflects life’s tiny moments," 18 July 2019 His vision started blacking in from all sides like it was being rubbed out with an eraser. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "This Pro Skydiver Was Invincible—Until his Heart Stopped Beating Regularly," 22 June 2018 Each major sports league offers some sort of online viewing option for around $130 a year, with the caveat that local games are blacked out. Jacob Davidson, Southern Living, "7 Streaming TV Packages That Will Let You Cut the Cord For Good," 1 May 2017 Names and several pages of police reports released Wednesday were blacked out. CBS News, "Records reveal Oakland "Ghost Ship" warehouse's troubled past," 8 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'black.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of black

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for black

Adjective, Noun, and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for black

Time Traveler

The first known use of black was before the 12th century

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Statistics for black

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Black.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/black. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for black

black

adjective
How to pronounce Black (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of black

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: 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

black

noun

English Language Learners Definition of black (Entry 2 of 3)

: 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

black

verb

English Language Learners Definition of black (Entry 3 of 3)

old-fashioned + literary : to make (something) black
British : to refuse to work for or with (a business, employer, etc.) or to buy (goods, services, etc.)

black

adjective
\ ˈblak How to pronounce black (audio) \
blacker; blackest

Kids Definition of black

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : of the color of coal : colored black
2 : very dark a black night
3 often capitalized : of or relating to any peoples having dark skin and especially any of the original peoples of Africa south of the Sahara
4 : of or relating to Americans having ancestors from Africa south of the Sahara
5 : wicked sense 1 a black deed
6 : very sad or gloomy in a black mood
7 : unfriendly sense 1 a black look

Other Words from black

blackish adjective
blackness noun

black

noun

Kids Definition of black (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : the color of coal : the opposite of white
2 : black clothing He is dressed in black.
3 : a person belonging to a race of people having dark skin
4 : an American having black African ancestors : african-american
5 : total or near total darkness the black of night
6 : the condition of making a profit The company is in the black.

black

verb
blacked; blacking

Kids Definition of black (Entry 3 of 3)

black out
: to lose consciousness or the ability to see for a short time

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Comments on black

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