1 of 3


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


2 of 3

noun (1)

black and white

3 of 3

noun (2)

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

Examples of black-and-white in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
His replacement, Jordi Bernet, enhanced the Torpedo aesthetic with stark black-and-white images and noirish shadows-and-light texture. Ernesto Lechner, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Feb. 2024 To mark the occasion, Bey wore a black-and-white striped minidress from Balmain’s pre-fall 2024 collection. Hannah Jackson, Vogue, 16 Feb. 2024 For the outing, Beyoncé rocked a longsleeve black-and-white striped dress and hood with her blonde hair, a pair of shades and matching white heels with black stars on them. Brenton Blanchet, Peoplemag, 16 Feb. 2024 In the brief black-and-white visual, Jung Kook dances with abandon — his shirt completely unbuttoned — on an escalator in Grand Central, before coming to the piano. Anna Chan, Billboard, 16 Feb. 2024 Just make sure to wear your low-top black-and-white Converse. 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Free. Chris Kelly, Washington Post, 15 Feb. 2024 Scenes depicting Pinochet flying were shot against bluescreen using a color camera and then converted to black-and-white. Daron James, Los Angeles Times, 13 Feb. 2024 The video is shot in black-and-white to pay homage to the G-Star brand heritage. Kerane Marcellus, Essence, 12 Feb. 2024 There are six chains on her necklace, which lines up with Reputation being her sixth album, and the black-and-white of it all nods to the original album's black-and-white cover. Jordan Greene, Peoplemag, 5 Feb. 2024
Tanaka, 39, chose a sweet black-and-white shot of the couple smiling together to share alongside his birthday message. Rachel Desantis, Peoplemag, 28 Mar. 2023 While most Americans had a TV by the early 1960s, most of those were black-and-white sets. Matt Novak, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2023 The birds flitted from corner to corner in their cages, quick little sprites with black-and-white breasts and flame-orange beaks. Burkhard Bilger, The New Yorker, 27 Mar. 2023 Natural light pours in from body-length windows, accentuating the black-and-white industrial aesthetic of the salon, which is complimented by colorful street art. Julian E.j. Sorapuru,, 26 Mar. 2023 The Instagram carousel includes several black-and-white photos of Grande wearing white gloves, a polka-dot dress and her iconic ponytail, and Erivo sporting a plaid dress, tall dark boots and hoop earrings. Carly Thomas, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 Mar. 2023 In the first three black-and-white pictures, Grande and Erivo are wearing very cute outfits, with Grande in a strapless polkadot gown with opera gloves. Aimée Lutkin, ELLE, 26 Mar. 2023 Tybee Island, Georgia Grassy sand dunes and a historic black-and-white striped lighthouse bring a quaint coastal feel to Tybee Island, about 18 miles from Savannah. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 25 Mar. 2023 The nine members’ work is mostly in color but contains some black-and-white pictures. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 24 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'black-and-white.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

from a common color scheme for such cars

First Known Use


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

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

Dictionary Entries Near black-and-white

black-and-tan coonhound


black and white

Cite this Entry

“Black-and-white.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

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