black

adjective
\ ˈblak How to pronounce black (audio) \

Definition of black

 (Entry 1 of 6)

1a : of the color black (see black entry 2 sense 2) a black sweater a black dog as black as coal
b(1) : very dark in color his face was black with rage
(2) : having a very deep or low register (see register entry 1 sense 4b) a bass with a black voice
(3) : heavy, serious the play was a black intrigue
2a : having dark skin, hair, and eyes : swarthy the black Irish

b or Black

(1) : of or relating to any of various population groups having dark pigmentation of the skin black Americans
(2) : of or relating to 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
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
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
9 : characterized by hostility or angry discontent : sullen black resentment filled his heart
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 a ship that was declared black by the union
11a 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
12 : characterized by grim, distorted, or grotesque satire black humor
13 : of or relating to covert intelligence operations black government programs

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 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 the operating in the black — compare red

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 Amo (audio) \ or in Vietnam Da \ ˈdä How to pronounce Da (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 blackish (audio) \ adjective
blackly adverb
blackness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for black

Synonyms: Adjective

ebony, pitch-black, pitch-dark, pitchy, raven, sable

Synonyms: Noun

blackness, candlelight, dark, darkness, dusk, gloaming, gloom, murk, night, semidarkness, shade, shadows, twilight, umbra

Antonyms: Adjective

white

Antonyms: Noun

blaze, brightness, brilliance, day, daylight, glare, glow, light, lightness

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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

The Edition 35 Years does get an M Sport exhaust system with tailpipes finished in black chrome. Daniel Golson, Car and Driver, "The 2020 BMW M5 Edition 35 Years Has Insane Gold Interior Trim," 16 May 2019 Granite comes in a wide array of colors: vibrant blues and variegated browns, to midnight black, deep red and mottled white. Joe Lindsey, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Countertop Materials," 9 May 2019 Everything is pretty much black, white, navy, or gray—super easy to switch in and out of. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "What I Wear to Work: Rachel Krupa, Founder of Krupa Consulting and The Goods Mart," 6 May 2019 Ladybugs: Roll red fondant into small balls, then shape black fondant into a flat disk and stick together. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Mother's Day Cookie Bouquet," 6 May 2019 From high- and low-waist bikinis to sleek one-pieces in colors like navy, red, black, and dusty pink, there's a little something for everyone. Glamour, "Hatch Is Releasing New Maternity Swimwear—Just in Time for Summer," 30 Apr. 2019 Jessica Dowless indicated to BuzzFeed News that ballots for Democratic or black (or both) voters were a focus, but later seemed to walk that claim back. Dylan Scott, Vox, "More evidence piles up in North Carolina election fraud scandal," 26 Dec. 2018 Most recently, Sheekilah Jones shared a video on Facebook of a black cat using a door knocker. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Passerby Catches Black Cat Brilliantly Using a Door Knocker in Viral Facebook Video," 28 Apr. 2019 The collection features porcelain trays, coasters, and boxes emblazoned with a silver hemp leaf on a black background or a sultry pair of red lips dangling a smoke. Jennifer Milne, ELLE Decor, "In Time for 4/20, the Ultimate and Uber-Chic Weed Accessories from Jonathan Adler," 19 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Grace Elizabeth transforms from a punk bride clad in black to a dreamy romantic in swaths of ruffles. Carine Roitfeld, Harper's BAZAAR, "The modern bride is a rebel, a romantic, a maverick, a mother–and so much more.," 2 Apr. 2019 Decked out in black, the couple hammed it up for the photo crew, throwing in some surprise kisses as the cameras flashed. Chris Payne, Billboard, "Ashlee Simpson Ross & Evan Ross Hit the Billboard Music Awards Red Carpet in Style," 20 May 2018 And all of it was executed without a fuss by a young waitstaff dressed in black. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "Review: McAdoo’s Seafood rides a strong wave in New Braunfels," 10 May 2018 The world just stops apart from the bloke in black. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 7 Weeks to Go - Gazza's Tears, a Defining Moment in English Football," 7 May 2018 The share of blacks who voted climbed 10.8 percentage points to 51.4%, which... The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Voter Suppression Myth," 3 May 2019 The orange flames and column of grey and black smoke belching into the pale Parisian sky at dusk augured some new, inevitably lesser era—the near-death of one of the most iconic buildings of western civilization. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "Notre Dame Cathedral Will Never Be the Same—and That's Ok," 19 Apr. 2019 Back to that attention-grabbing Oral-B black-bristle toothbrush. Laura Daily, The Seattle Times, "How charcoal escaped the grill and ended up in your bathroom," 12 Apr. 2019 Two parallel cactus needles, stained black, did the actual tattooing. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The United States' Oldest Tattoo Needle Is an Inked-Up Cactus Spine," 28 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Reddington recalled blacking in and out as someone called 911 for help. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Man accidentally shot by FBI agent in a Denver nightclub recalls bizarre incident," 10 June 2018 Reddington recalled blacking in and out as someone called 911 for help. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Man accidentally shot by FBI agent in a Denver nightclub recalls bizarre incident," 10 June 2018 Reddington recalled blacking in and out as someone called 911 for help. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Man accidentally shot by FBI agent in a Denver nightclub recalls bizarre incident," 10 June 2018 The collection is available in a range of three materials in Dell’Acqua's go-to pink and black, as well as Tod’s signature brown leather. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Tod’s Is Launching Their First Factory Capsule Collection with Alessandro Dell’Acqua," 19 Nov. 2018 Reddington recalled blacking in and out as someone called 911 for help. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Man accidentally shot by FBI agent in a Denver nightclub recalls bizarre incident," 10 June 2018 Reddington recalled blacking in and out as someone called 911 for help. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Man accidentally shot by FBI agent in a Denver nightclub recalls bizarre incident," 10 June 2018 Instead, Giuliani deflects to black-on-black crime. Jeneé Osterheldt, kansascity, "Turn our anger into change," 25 Nov. 2014 In other words, will black and brown doulas be displaced? Danielle Jackson, Longreads, "A Frustrating Year of Reporting on Black Maternal Health," 14 June 2018

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 1a

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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Statistics for black

Last Updated

20 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for black

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

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More Definitions for black

black

noun

Financial Definition of black

What It Is

Black is slang for profit. Profit, also called net income, is the amount remaining after all costs, depreciation, interest, taxes, and other expenses have been deducted from total sales. Profit is also referred to as the bottom line, net profit, or net earnings. The formula for profit is:

Total Sales - Total Expenses = Profit

Note that preferred stock dividends are typically included in the traditional net income calculation, but common stock dividends are not.

How It Works

Here is some information about Company XYZ for last year:

Using the formula and the information above, we can calculate that Company XYZ's profit was:

$1,000,000 - $500,000 - $300,000 - $100,000 - $5,000 + $1,000 - $10,000 - $10,000 = $76,000

This means that Company XYZ made $76,000 of profit last year. It was “in the black.”

Why It Matters

Philosophically speaking, being in the black is what motivates industry, entrepreneurship, and innovation. It is the very thing that enables people to feed themselves, clothe their families, create jobs, and set money aside for the future. It is not a vice, but rather an incentive to dream, take risks, and try harder. As Adam Smith, the founder of modern economics, put it, "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”

In the retail industry, companies often don’t become profitable until the fourth quarter, when Christmas shopping begins. This is the source of the term “Black Friday.”

Source: Investing Answers

black

adjective

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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More from Merriam-Webster on black

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with black

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for black

Spanish Central: Translation of black

Nglish: Translation of black for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of black for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about black

Comments on black

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