black box

1 of 2

noun

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

2 of 2

adjective

: 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
Noun
Navels are tattooed with a black box representing the separation of a baby boy from his mother at birth. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 10 Feb. 2024 Bailey shows in the video the packaging the ashtray arrived in: a black box with the Dolce & Gabbana Casa logo in white. Jordan Greene, Peoplemag, 7 Feb. 2024 Scott performed among a post-apocalyptic tower of black boxes, and closed out the show by smashing folding chairs against the ground as flames shot up around him. Madison Bloom, Pitchfork, 5 Feb. 2024 Federal officials on Sunday night also pointed out a major obstacle to the Alaska Airlines investigation: The cockpit voice recorder, or black box, from the Friday night flight was erased. Jeremy Childs, Los Angeles Times, 8 Jan. 2024 And the brain has remained this black box for a long period of time. IEEE Spectrum, 24 Jan. 2024 As a practicing pediatrician, Constantinescu agrees that the FDA’s black box label offers sufficient warning to health care providers and patients. Joanna Thompson, Scientific American, 19 Jan. 2024 Talk about going from commanding a black box theater to hitting marks on a film set. Margy Rochlin, Los Angeles Times, 9 Jan. 2024 Tech entities like OpenAI are black boxes that offer little to no disclosure about how their datasets work, as are all the major Big Tech players. WIRED, 13 Nov. 2023
Adjective
The 200-person company, which operates physical locations resembling old-school general stores that also include black box theater spaces, rolled out a sweeping discount offer to pull in cash, founder and CEO Ben Kaufman said. Brian Cheung, NBC News, 13 Mar. 2023 Since then, most dating app companies take a black box approach and don’t talk publicly about what factors into their algorithms. WIRED, 14 Feb. 2023 The surround-sound production in Amphibian Stage’s black box theater is the first the play has received since its Off-Off-Broadway premiere three years ago. Dallas News, 10 Feb. 2023 The uniqueness of Disney’ government, where building inspectors examine black box structures holding thrill rides instead of office buildings, also complicates matters. Mike Schneider, Fortune, 7 Feb. 2023 The uniqueness of Disney' government, where building inspectors examine black box structures holding thrill rides instead of office buildings, also complicates matters. Mike Schneider, ajc, 7 Feb. 2023 The Theater Offensive signed a letter of intent in 2020 with Scape North America, developers of the residential and retail project at 1252-1270 Boylston St. that includes a black box theater. Terry Byrne, BostonGlobe.com, 5 Jan. 2023 ProPublica spent months trying to crack open Google’s black box ad business. Craig Silverman, ProPublica, 21 Dec. 2022 Binance itself has been a black box, offering little information about its financials or even where it is based, the Journal has previously reported. Patricia Kowsmann, WSJ, 8 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'black box.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Noun

circa 1945, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1968, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of black box was circa 1945

Dictionary Entries Near black box

Cite this Entry

“Black box.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/black%20box. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition

black box

adjective
: 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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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