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 Privately owned and often headquartered in tax havens from Switzerland to Singapore, these companies operate in a virtual black box. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 12 May 2022 Federal public records laws were put in place to push back against government secrecy after the Cold War turned governmental affairs into a black box, while state-level laws got a boost after Watergate, Cuillier said. Washington Post, 30 Mar. 2022 What happens in the republics is something of a black box. New York Times, 20 Feb. 2022 In Russia, the SORM system sidesteps that process, working like a surveillance black box that can take whatever data the F.S.B. wants without any oversight. New York Times, 28 Mar. 2022 On Wednesday evening, nine of the top 20 searches on the Weibo social media platform were about the recovery of the black box, the search for survivors and other news related to the tragedy. Washington Post, 23 Mar. 2022 On Wednesday evening, nine of the top 20 searches on the Weibo social media platform were about the recovery of the black box, the search for survivors and other news related to the tragedy. Eva Dou, Lyric Li And Vic Chiang, Anchorage Daily News, 23 Mar. 2022 One of two black box recorders, believed to be the cockpit voice recorder, was found Wednesday. NBC News, 24 Mar. 2022 Data poisoning attacks can be performed in a black box scenario as well as a white box scenario. Naveen Joshi, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of black box was circa 1945

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Dictionary Entries Near black box

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black box

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Cite this Entry

“Black box.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/black%20box. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for black box

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

More from Merriam-Webster on black box

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about black box

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