black sheep


Definition of black sheep

: a disfavored or disreputable member of a group

Examples of black sheep in a Sentence

She was the black sheep of the family.

Recent Examples on the Web

The black sheep of the FF family finally got some love at E3 tonight. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "The 7 biggest announcements from Square Enix’s E3 2019 press conference," 11 June 2019 Hot-air balloons are the obverse of modern aeronautical advances, the beautiful black sheep to the success story of the airplane. María Gainza, Harper's magazine, "Both Sides Now," 10 May 2019 Per the outlet, the NSFW movie is about a lawyer who lands her brother a job at her firm, only to discover that her black sheep sibling is somehow super popular. Kaitlin Reilly,, "Glen Powell Starring In Movie About Powerful Women Wanting To Sleep With Him," 5 June 2019 The following year, a Vanity Fair essay by Lady Gabriella's ex-boyfriend Aatish Taseer shared an anecdote about the Princess naming two black sheep Venus and Serena. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Who Is Lady Gabriella Windsor's Mother, Princess Michael of Kent," 17 May 2019 To many people, Princess Margaret was the black sheep of her generation of royals. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Hard-Partying Princess Margaret Will Forever Be My Favorite Royal," 30 Apr. 2019 The youngest and wittiest Lannister sibling, Tyrion, a dwarf, is the black sheep of the family. John Carucci, The Seattle Times, "It’s not too late to dive into ‘Game of Thrones,’ with help," 13 Apr. 2019 Another 42,000 people lack access to any fixed-line broadband options, driving them toward satellite broadband, which is considered the black sheep of the broadband sector due to cost, high latency, and daily or monthly usage restrictions. Karl Bode, The Verge, "How bad maps are ruining American broadband," 24 Sep. 2018 One of the letter holders includes an illustration of Juice, a black sheep who lives on the Brooks’s family farm. Jo Rodgers, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Magpie Makings of Amanda Brooks’s New Cotswolds Shop," 18 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'black sheep.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of black sheep

1657, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about black sheep

Statistics for black sheep

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for black sheep

The first known use of black sheep was in 1657

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for black sheep

black sheep


English Language Learners Definition of black sheep

: someone who does not fit in with the rest of a group and is often considered to be a troublemaker or an embarrassment

More from Merriam-Webster on black sheep

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with black sheep

Spanish Central: Translation of black sheep

Comments on black sheep

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


to move or obtain by small maneuvers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!