black ink


Definition of black ink

: a business profit or surplus While battered rivals … are only now glimpsing black ink, Cisco is racking up record profits.— Peter Burrows, Business Week, 24 Nov. 2003 : the condition of showing a profit Corporations … have realized that green behavior can mean black ink— Sharon Begley, Newsweek, 24 Apr. 2000 — compare red ink

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of black ink

1932, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for black ink

from the use of black ink in financial statements to indicate a profit

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about black ink

Time Traveler for black ink

Time Traveler

The first known use of black ink was in 1932

See more words from the same year

Statistics for black ink

Cite this Entry

“Black ink.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

Comments on black ink

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


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!