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

Water access is emerging as a lead cause of regional conflict, especially as scarce water falls under the control of rogue black markets. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "The Blood-Dimmed Tide," 16 Sep. 2019 And tarantulas are just one example of the black market in wildlife, a multibillion-dollar industry that has affected many different animal populations around the world. Claudia Harmata, PEOPLE.com, "Man Arrested for Attempting to Smuggle Nearly 100 Tarantulas in Luggage," 12 Sep. 2019 The federal government's case is expected to offer a glimpse at how the drug, which has killed tens of thousands of Americans, can be imported from China, pressed into fake pills and sold through online black markets to people in every state. CBS News, "Former Eagle Scout accused in multimillion-dollar drug empire to stand trial in Utah," 11 Aug. 2019 The ring was believed to have obtained the fentanyl from the black market in China. Guillermo Contreras, ExpressNews.com, "Leader of deadly San Antonio opioid pill mill pleads guilty," 20 June 2019 The result was a booming black market for dollars and shortages of the basic goods being sold at a loss under price controls. Peter Millard, Bloomberg.com, "A Timeline of Venezuela’s Economic Rise and Fall," 16 Feb. 2019 Even if the issue is rooted in the black market, the situation could become a serious threat for the legal cannabis industry as more authorities warn against vaping or move to crack down on it. Alicia Wallace, CNN, "Cannabis industry calls for legalization and regulation to snuff out underground vapes," 13 Sep. 2019 Exotic plants and animals have their own prices on the black market (or on Facebook). Matt Simon, WIRED, "Who's Burning the Amazon? Rampant Capitalism," 28 Aug. 2019 Legalizing the drug has not yet eliminated the black market, in part because the number of legal shops is rising slowly. Amanda Shendruk, Quartz, "Canadians continue to buy cannabis illegally," 18 Aug. 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

12 Sep 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

Comments on black-market

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