black sheep


: a disfavored or disreputable member of a group

Example Sentences

She was the black sheep of the family.
Recent Examples on the Web Same goes for Adam Scott, who gives one of his best performances as the black sheep of a family who gets together for the holiday—but experiences no real joy. Deanna Janes, Harper's BAZAAR, 4 Nov. 2022 Astin plays a talented but directionless P.I. who is the black sheep of his family. Joe Otterson, Variety, 19 Oct. 2022 How gaming can help doctors As a video game developer, Sam Glassenberg was the black sheep of his family. Bykristine Gill, Fortune, 3 Oct. 2022 As the title suggests, the three-CD or six-LP anthology collects 59 black sheep from the alt-rock firebrand’s career, including several previously unreleased tracks. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 8 Sep. 2022 Kohler himself was known for trying out the company's whirlpools, taste-testing Kohler candy and creating and playing on all of the golf courses, even importing a strain of black sheep common to Ireland to make one course seem more authentic. Alexandra Peers, CNN, 6 Sep. 2022 He's always been seen as a black sheep of this family. Christina Dugan Ramirez, Peoplemag, 8 Sep. 2022 Also on the red carpet was cast member Beth Ditto, who may not hail from Nashville, but the Arkansas native brought her Southern roots and musical chops to the drama as the Roman family's black sheep daughter, Gigi. Nancy Kruh, Peoplemag, 29 Aug. 2022 The brand is a partnership between Ashe's widow, photographer Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, the Arthur Ashe estate, Jack Carlson (founder of Rowing Blazers, which revived Princess Diana's iconic black sheep sweater) and Karl-Raphael Blanchard. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 26 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1657, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of black sheep was in 1657

Dictionary Entries Near black sheep

Cite this Entry

“Black sheep.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

black sheep


: a person having a bad reputation in a group with a good reputation
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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