black-mar·​ket | \ ˈblak-ˈmär-kət How to pronounce black-market (audio) \
black-marketed; black-marketing; black-markets

Definition of black-market

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to buy or sell goods in the black market

transitive verb

: to sell in the black market

black market


Definition of black market (Entry 2 of 2)

: illicit trade in goods or commodities in violation of official regulations also : a place where such trade is carried on

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Other Words from black-market


black marketer or black marketeer \ ˈblak-​ˌmär-​kə-​ˈtir How to pronounce black market (audio) \ noun
black marketeering \ ˈblak-​ˌmär-​kə-​ˈtir-​iŋ How to pronounce black market (audio) \ noun

Examples of black-market in a Sentence

Noun The black market in prescription drugs is thriving. They unloaded the stolen goods on the black market.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Such black market networks have sprung up alongside legal recruitment networks that over the years have placed millions of women into jobs as domestic servants in the Persian Gulf region. Washington Post, "Instagram fuels rise in black-market sales of maids into Persian Gulf servitude," 5 May 2021 Desperation has created black market price gouging for remdesivir, a COVID-19 treatment, with reports of single vials selling for 20,000 rupees, the equivalent of about $270, Anu Kothari said., "Mass. residents from India, Brazil watch COVID-19 horrors unfold in their native countries," 3 May 2021 With demand high, black market dealers are insisting on cash upfront, said Sarang. Star Tribune, "Indians turn to black market, unproven drugs as virus surges," 29 Apr. 2021 Nevertheless, Sharon was forced to go underground and operate as the Power Broker, a black market art dealer, funder of supersoldier serum projects and general shady person. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "All Your Falcon and the Winter Soldier Finale Questions, Answered," 23 Apr. 2021 Any technology that offers a way to anonymously spend money raises the specter of black market uses—from drug sales to money laundering to the evasion of international sanctions—along with the accompanying crush of financial regulations. Andy Greenberg, Wired, "Signal Adds a Payments Feature—With a Privacy-Focused Cryptocurrency," 6 Apr. 2021 Cosmetic surgeons use fat from elsewhere in the body for enhancements, but black market practitioners sometimes use silicone sourced from hardware stores. NBC News, "Woman sentenced to 5 years for deadly butt injection," 3 Apr. 2021 The International Fund for Animal Welfare has written that poisoning ivory could increase black market prices and heighten poaching threats. Devon Link, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Altered image shows rhino horns, elephant tusks dyed pink to deter poaching," 2 Mar. 2021 But those available describe an elaborate black market peso scheme that used a series of steps to eventually send the drug profits back to Mexican cartels in their own currency. Beth Warren, The Courier-Journal, "Chinese nationals used US banks to launder millions in drug profits for Sinaloa Cartel," 2 Mar. 2021

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


1727, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


1931, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for black-market

Time Traveler

The first known use of black-market was in 1727

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Cite this Entry

“Black-market.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for black-market

black market


English Language Learners Definition of black market

: a system through which things are bought and sold illegally

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