black box


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


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 Technology is not a black box anymore, but health, education and livelihood experts face challenges in finding the right solution for their specific energy needs. Pamli Deka, Quartz India, "What is preventing the adoption of renewable energy in rural India, and how to fix it?," 13 Feb. 2020 Ukraine has attempted to secure the flight’s black boxes to analyze the plane’s final moments. Tim Pearce, Washington Examiner, "Canadian attorneys sue Iran for downing passenger jet," 7 Feb. 2020 The helicopter does not have a black box, and, between the force of the impact and post-crash fire, the wreckage is not in good shape. Audrey Mcnamara, CBS News, "What we know about Kobe Bryant's final flight," 28 Jan. 2020 Ali Abedzadeh, the head of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization, said the plane's black boxes -- which may contain data that would help investigators figure out what caused the crash -- were damaged, so Tehran may need help decoding them. Joshua Berlinger And Radina Gigova, CNN, "Iranian official says reports that missiles downed Ukrainian passenger plane 'a big lie'," 10 Jan. 2020 The Apollo will showcase many of the projects at two new black box theaters at the Victoria, a former movie theater on West 125th Street that is being redeveloped, and is scheduled to open in the fall. New York Times, "Apollo Theater Announces New Series of Commissions," 6 Mar. 2020 Studio Red designed the flexible worship space, which can be transformed from a black box space for senior and junior high students to a more traditional venue with stained glass for worship, funerals and weddings. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Faithbridge taps Studio Red for church addition in NW Houston," 25 Feb. 2020 Garneau, a former astronaut, said Canada is willing to assist with black box analysis, if asked. Author: Isabelle Khurshudyan, Anchorage Daily News, "Ukraine investigators consider possibility a missile brought down jet over Tehran," 9 Jan. 2020 Roku Premiere, $29 The simplest way to stream everything there is to stream, all in that tiny little black box. Ben Flanagan |, al, "Easy last minute gift ideas for movie lovers," 22 Dec. 2019

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


circa 1945, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1968, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for black box

Time Traveler

The first known use of black box was circa 1945

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Cite this Entry

“Black box.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for black box

black box


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


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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with black box

Spanish Central: Translation of black box Encyclopedia article about black box

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