black hole


Definition of black hole 

1 : a celestial object that has a gravitational field so strong that light cannot escape it and that is believed to be created especially in the collapse of a very massive star

2 : something resembling a black hole: such as

a : something that consumes a resource continually a financial black hole

b : an empty space : void … the archives of the past few years are a black hole. —David Herman

c : a dark and seemingly inescapable state or situation the black hole of depression

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Examples of black hole in a Sentence

a psychopath who seemingly has a black hole where his heart should be

Recent Examples on the Web

Blazars, like quasars, are distant cosmic beacons powered by supermassive black holes, which generate intense radiation and fire jets of particles from their poles. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Ghostly particle caught in polar ice ushers in new way to look at the universe," 12 July 2018 One theory suggests that dark matter is made of primordial black holes, hypothetical objects that would have formed just after the big bang. National Geographic, "This Is the Farthest Star Humans Have Ever Seen," 3 Apr. 2018 Stephen Hawking was considered one of the smartest people living, best known for his theories and work on black holes, which changed the world’s view of the universe. Janice Williams, Newsweek, "Smartest Person Alive? Paul Allen And 4 Others That Could Be After Stephen Hawking's Death," 14 Mar. 2018 Just off Orion’s left shoulder, 3.8 billion light-years away, floats a galaxy that is being sucked into a supermassive black hole. Ian Haydon,, "For the first time, scientists harness 'ghost particles' to study the universe and its black holes," 12 July 2018 Like most galaxies, the two that make up Arp 299 have supermassive black holes at their centers. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Witness Aftermath of a Black Hole Destroying a Star," 15 June 2018 Joining Stewart-Haas, quite frankly, has probably saved his career from, at best, a professional rut, at worst the inescapable black hole. John Henry, star-telegram, "Addition of Aric Almirola gives punch to middle of Stewart-Hass Racing lineup | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 14 Mar. 2018 At an inauguration attended by government officials and foreign dignitaries, Mr. Camilo released new images taken by MeerKAT of the region surrounding the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy, some 25,000 light years away. Wendell Roelf, The Christian Science Monitor, "South Africa's MeerKAT telescope will help uncover next space frontier," 13 July 2018 Cued by IceCube, the Antarctic detector, the orbiting Fermi Gammaray Space Telescope found that the neutrino likely came from a far off blazar, a hugely bright source of radiation powered by a supermassive black hole. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Ghostly particle caught in polar ice ushers in new way to look at the universe," 12 July 2018

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

1964, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for black hole

The first known use of black hole was in 1964

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More Definitions for black hole

black hole


English Language Learners Definition of black hole

: an invisible area in outer space with gravity so strong that light cannot get out of it

black hole


Kids Definition of black hole

: a heavenly body with such strong gravity that light cannot escape it and that is thought to be caused by the collapse of a massive star

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Comments on black hole

What made you want to look up black hole? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the setting in which something occurs

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