black letter


Definition of black letter

: a heavy angular condensed typeface used especially by the earliest European printers and based on handwriting used chiefly in the 13th to 15th centuries also : this style of handwriting

Illustration of black letter

Illustration of black letter

Examples of black letter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Coaches know immediately which crews are available week-to-week because two screens display the list of crews and with each number that’s shouted out, that crew chief’s name turns from black letters to red with a red line going through the name. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "PISD football coaches secure their officiating crews for upcoming season," 17 July 2019 Need a high-contrast computer keyboard with black letters on yellow background? Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "Financial miscues, loss of donations doom Seattle-based Sight Connections nonprofit for the blind," 21 June 2019 The walls are lined with handmade white tiles meant to resemble corn kernels and a black letter board lists the shop’s offerings: taco, tamal, elote, frijoles de olla, salsa miltomate. Hilary Cadigan, Bon Appetit, "In a Land of Tortilla Factories, Enrique Olvera’s New Tortilleria Is Doing It Old School," 20 June 2018 Property owners in and around the Arlington entertainment district who are licensed to provide off-site parking must display a sign featuring a black letter P surrounded by a green circle. Gordon Dickson, star-telegram, "Going to the NFL Draft? Follow these tips to beat the traffic and snag a parking spot at AT&T Stadium | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 24 Apr. 2018 Its theatrical brass lamps and large black letters advertising current screenings on the building's curved exterior conjure up 1920's Berlin, as does its silent oldies and art house program. Karen Burshtein, Vogue, "From Burlesque to Bauhaus, Here’s Where to Find the Roaring 20s in Berlin Today," 29 Jan. 2018 Stamped in bold black letters, the phrase: IMPERFECT NOT FOR RESALE. Brooke Mazurek, Billboard, "Lorde on the Historic 2018 Grammys, the #MeToo Movement & Loving Cardi B," 19 Jan. 2018 The Italian scholar rediscovered the catacombs under Rome in 1593, and at some point decided to scrawl his name in big black letters above Christ and his disciples, reports Povoledo. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Restored Roman Catacombs Reveal Stunning Frescoes," 5 June 2017 The west end zone read SAN DIEGO STATE in black letters with white outline. Kirk Kenney,, "Aztecs dominate UC Davis in 38-17 win," 2 Sep. 2017

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

1639, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for black letter

Last Updated

31 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for black letter

The first known use of black letter was in 1639

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Legal Definition of black-letter

: having wide acceptance and great authority and often written down black-letter law

More from Merriam-Webster on black letter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with black letter Encyclopedia article about black letter

Comments on black letter

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


a period when something is suspended

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