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 Selling cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and marijuana on the black market. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, 4 June 2021 Jonathan nicked the Key off of Caleb’s body and gave the object to his fence, TJ (Kevin Douglas), to sell on the black market. Ariana Romero,, 30 May 2021 At some private hospitals, patients were asked to purchase oxygen on the black market. Ben Ayers, Outside Online, 28 May 2021 In Jharkhand, a primarily rural state in eastern India, a woman said a black market has emerged for medicine and medical supplies, and many people are turning to home remedies. USA Today, 14 May 2021 And despite the predictions of some analysts that a black market in vaccines was inevitable, Mr. Osborn insisted that people trying to sell the shot without authorization would not be able to divert doses from its supply chain. Benjamin Mueller, New York Times, 3 Dec. 2020 On the black market, a single medical record can sell for upward of $1,000. Marion Renault, STAT, 23 May 2021 The hackers did it by using manipulated personal data and high-definition photos purchased on the black market and then hijacking a camera of a mobile phone to deceive the facial authentication process. Liudas Kanapienis, Forbes, 20 May 2021 Panic drove people to buy oxygen cylinders and machines like oxygen concentrators at three times their regular rate on the black market, even if the buyers didn't immediately need them, according to anecdotes from consumers and media reports. Biman Mukherji, Fortune, 18 May 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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Statistics for black-market

Cite this Entry

“Black-market.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 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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