black-market

verb
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

noun

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

Verb

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

Pot advocates argue that legalizing the drug eliminates the need for a black market and would probably reduce violence, since criminals would no longer control the marijuana trade. Joshua Miller, BostonGlobe.com, "Sessions rescinds policy that allowed legal pot to flourish," 4 Jan. 2018 Over the years, a number of Pacific war wrecks have been looted or disappeared completely, the victim of black market scrappers. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Explorers Discover the Wreck of the Aircraft Carrier USS Hornet, Sunk in World War II," 12 Feb. 2019 That comes against a backdrop of contrasting studies that have offered little insight into how legalization is impacting youth use, stoned driving and border-state black markets. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "Marijuana industry poised for supercharged growth thanks to President Trump," 20 Apr. 2018 The makeup black market is so twisted and has several layers. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Everything We Know About the Jeffree Star Cosmetics Break-In and Theft," 2 Apr. 2019 The vastness of earth's open waters allow such a black market to thrive. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "How Small Satellites Will Help Police Earth's Vast Oceans," 4 Feb. 2019 Protestors swarmed Tehran’s Grand Bazaar last month after the local currency, the rial, slumped to 90,000 to the dollar in the black market. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Iran’s Persistent Protests," 3 July 2018 Anybody who gets Barlow on the phone had better be prepared to talk or trade emails for hours about the nuclear black market, Pakistan's perfidy, his many travails and, now, the nuclear deal with Iran. Jeff Stein, Newsweek, "The Perils of Whistle-Blowing," 4 Dec. 2013 That is up from zero in the 1990s, when famine pushed North Koreans to start bartering and trading in black markets to survive. Niharika Mandhana, WSJ, "At Trump-Kim Summit, Host Vietnam Blazes Trail for North Korea," 23 Feb. 2019

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

Verb

1727, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun

1931, in the meaning defined above

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Learn More about black-market

Statistics for black-market

Last Updated

26 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for black-market

The first known use of black-market was in 1727

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More Definitions for black-market

black market

noun

Financial Definition of black market

What It Is

A black market is the illegal purchase and sale of goods and services.

How It Works

Drug dealing is one of the most prominent black markets in the United States. In this black market, people buy and sell drugs knowing that such activity is usually illegal and that possessing the products themselves is usually illegal. Regardless, the demand for drugs is high enough to trump the law, though people usually attempt to conceal their participation.

Many black markets exist beyond drugs, however, and though the products or services may be legal, the manner in which they are bought and sold may be illegal. For example, it is legal to have a cleaning lady, but it is illegal to hire a cleaning lady who is not in the United States legally.

Because regulatory constraints may increase the price of some goods and services, in some cases regulation can actually prompt the development of black markets. This was particularly the case in the early 1900s, when the United States outlawed alcohol, which created a massive black market for the production, transportation and sale of liquor.

Why It Matters

The presence of black markets all over the world is evidence that the laws of supply and demand are virtually impossible to defy. When regulation or taxation becomes too high, when supply and demand are way out of balance, or when competition has been too restricted, people will always look for a way to get goods or services cheaper, faster or more easily.

Source: Investing Answers

black market

noun

English Language Learners Definition of black market

: a system through which things are bought and sold illegally

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