\ ˌbla-kən-ˈhwīt , -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 other looks, Prada sent out ball caps with long, colorful shearling ear flaps—in neon purple and red, black and white—an accessory so over-the-top, a double-take was in order. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Prada Just Sent Boyish Pixie Cuts Down the Runway—And It Was Ridiculously Chic," 13 Jan. 2019 Mendes’ included a black and white shot of the duo toasting with pals, and another shows Baldwin sticking her tongue out at the camera on the red carpet. Stephanie Petit,, "Shawn Mendes Plays Coy About Attending Met Gala with 'Really Good Friend' Hailey Baldwin," 9 May 2018 The songstress shared a single black and white photo of Miller, who died on Friday at the age of 26. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "Ariana Grande posts Mac Miller photo on Instagram after his death," 8 Sep. 2018 The villains of the story are the ones who live in the black and white., "Candace Zamperini Is The Staircase's Most Polarizing Figure," 15 June 2018 There are no blacks and whites about North Korea — only grays. Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY, "New book: Insider's account of North Korea reveals why Trump may be forever disappointed," 29 May 2018 The black and white featured the shadow of a tree falling across the front of the church. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "QVCC's Spirol Gallery Features Spring Student Show," 9 May 2018 Beyond that, the color combination of black and white is classic. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "The Fertility Vase Of The Ndebele Tribe In Mean Girls Was Actually Really Chic," 3 Oct. 2018 But the politicization of all things Amazon — from Senator Bernie Sanders on the left to President Donald Trump on the right — is recasting Amazon narratives into black and white. Jason Del Rey, Recode, "Amazon is now worth $1 trillion. What comes next is even more scrutiny of its power.," 4 Sep. 2018

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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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

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