\ ˌbla-kən-ˈhwīt How to pronounce black-and-white (audio) , -ˈwīt\

Definition of black-and-white

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : partly black and partly white in color
2 : being in writing or print
3 : executed in dark pigment on a light background or in light pigment on a dark ground a black-and-white drawing
4 : monochrome sense 2 black-and-white film black-and-white television
5a : sharply divided into good and evil
b : evaluating or viewing things as either all good or all bad black-and-white morality
c : sharply defined : clear-cut the truth is not always black-and-white


noun (1)

Definition of black-and-white (Entry 2 of 3)

black and white

noun (2)

Definition of black and white (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : writing, print
2 : a drawing or print done in black and white or in monochrome
3 : monochrome reproduction of visual images (as by photography or television)

Examples of black-and-white in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the edgy black and white, film-noir style video, Cabello sports shoulder-length, platinum blonde hair with messy bangs. Morgan M. Evans,, "Camila Cabello Debuts Sexy Blonde Locks in New Music Video with Mark Ronson," 10 July 2019 Yet when a wider picture emerged of what happened, in some respects quite literally from the view of a wider camera lens, a story that seemed black and white became gray. David Bauder, The Seattle Times, "Some journalists wonder if their profession is tweet-crazy," 29 Jan. 2019 So prison is something that unites us as one race, blacks and whites being one race. Fox News, "Kanye West responds to controversial slavery comment by comparing himself to Nat Turner," 2 Oct. 2018 Gomez was sporting a retro black and white polka-dot dress and red lipstick, her stylish new bob swept back into a messy bun topped with a matching red flower., "Selena Gomez Went To Prom With Some Special Fans," 24 June 2018 In 1996, South Africa took another step from apartheid to democracy by adopting a constitution that guaranteed equal rights for blacks and whites. azcentral, "AZ Memo: Taylor Swift kicks off 'Reputation' tour tonight in Glendale; charter schools' financial red flags; needle exchange bill dies," 8 May 2018 Some studies have found that black and white Americans hold opposing attitudes about gun ownership and knowing someone who has been harmed by guns. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, "The disparities in how black and white men die in gun violence, state by state," 23 Apr. 2018 The wealth gap between black and white Americans has tripled over the last half-century. Eddie S. Glaude, Time, "The Whitewashing — and Resurrection — of Dr. King’s Legacy," 29 Mar. 2018 The survivors appeared on the front page of this Friday's Capital Gazette, in a series of black and white portraits, part of a special report about the anniversary. Brian Stelter, CNN, "One year since shooting: How the Capital Gazette is remembering their fallen," 28 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'black-and-white.' 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-and-white


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (1)

1958, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1569, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for black-and-white

Noun (1)

from a common color scheme for such cars

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Time Traveler for black-and-white

The first known use of black-and-white was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of black-and-white

: partly black and partly white in color
: having, showing, or producing pictures that do not have colors except for black, white, and shades of gray
: involving a simple choice between things that are clearly opposite and especially between good and bad or right and wrong

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with black-and-white

Comments on black-and-white

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characterized by aphorism

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