black box

noun

Definition of black box 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a usually complicated electronic device whose internal mechanism is usually hidden from or mysterious to the user broadly : anything that has mysterious or unknown internal functions or mechanisms

2 : a crashworthy device in aircraft for recording cockpit conversations and flight data

3 : a device in an automobile that records information (such as speed, temperature, or gasoline efficiency) which can be used to monitor vehicle performance or determine a cause in the event of an accident

black box

adjective

Definition of black box (Entry 2 of 2)

: being or containing a warning of a serious or life-threatening side effect (such as stroke or muscle damage) that is highlighted by a black border on a prescription drug's label or accompanying literature

Examples of black box in a Sentence

Noun

The black boxes were recovered from the crash site and provided useful information about the cause of the crash.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The 1,790 parameters captured by the black box have allowed investigators to at least partly reconstruct what had happened during the short flight after takeoff from Jakarta. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "Lion Air Seeks More Details on Boeing Crash," 22 Nov. 2018 Valve’s Steam Link, the wondrous black box that beamed games from your PC to your TV, is dead. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Valve's Steam Link is dead, and that sucks," 20 Nov. 2018 The black box is the strongest warning that the FDA issues, and indicates that research has found that the product comes with a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects. Korin Miller, SELF, "Bayer Announced it Will Stop Selling Controversial Birth Control Device Essure in the U.S.," 23 July 2018 Design-wise, the Fire TV Recast is a big hulking black box with ventilation dots covering its entire front. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Amazon Fire TV Recast review: the cord cutter’s DVR," 14 Nov. 2018 There should be a black box with a question mark on it. Fox News, "Gutfeld: The media need to focus on reality instead of fear," 21 July 2018 How IP address identification works is a black box, so there is no hard data to say how frequent misidentification actually is. Adiel Kaplan, miamiherald, "The Steven Spielberg of porn sues to make Floridians stop pirating his raunchy videos," 12 July 2018 They’re seen instead as impenetrable black boxes where our most intimate personal secrets are bought and sold to further fatten a shadowy Über-class of obscene wealth and privilege trading behind velvet ropes in elite cryptocurrencies. Jon Talton, The Seattle Times, "Another bite of the Apple: Beyond that trillion-dollar valuation," 7 Aug. 2018 This afternoon, French investigators found the plane's flight data recorder (black box). Thomas Houston, Popular Mechanics, "Germanwings Co-pilot Accelerated Plane Before Crash," 24 Mar. 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'black box.' 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 box

Noun

circa 1945, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1968, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for black box

The first known use of black box was circa 1945

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More Definitions for black box

black box

noun

English Language Learners Definition of black box

: a device used in an airplane to record flight information (such as altitude or airspeed) or the voices of the pilots and crew

black box

adjective

Medical Definition of black box 

: being or containing a warning of a serious or life-threatening side effect (as stroke, muscle damage, or suicidal tendencies) that is highlighted by a black border on a prescription drug's label or accompanying literature A “black box” warning is the most serious warning placed in the labeling of a prescription medication.— Johnathan D. Rockoff, The Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram, 8 June 2007

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More from Merriam-Webster on black box

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with black box

Spanish Central: Translation of black box

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about black box

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