black-market

verb
black-mar·​ket | \ ˈblak-ˈmär-kət How to pronounce black-market (audio) \
black-marketed; black-marketing; black-markets

Definition of black-market

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to buy or sell goods in the black market

transitive verb

: to sell in the black market

black market

noun

Definition of black market (Entry 2 of 2)

: illicit trade in goods or commodities in violation of official regulations also : a place where such trade is carried on

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Other Words from black-market

Verb

black marketer or black marketeer \ ˈblak-​ˌmär-​kə-​ˈtir How to pronounce black marketeer (audio) \ noun
black marketeering \ ˈblak-​ˌmär-​kə-​ˈtir-​iŋ How to pronounce black marketeering (audio) \ noun

Examples of black-market in a Sentence

Noun

The black market in prescription drugs is thriving. They unloaded the stolen goods on the black market.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Anybody who gets Barlow on the phone had better be prepared to talk or trade emails for hours about the nuclear black market, Pakistan's perfidy, his many travails and, now, the nuclear deal with Iran. Jeff Stein, Newsweek, "The Perils of Whistle-Blowing," 4 Dec. 2013 That is up from zero in the 1990s, when famine pushed North Koreans to start bartering and trading in black markets to survive. Niharika Mandhana, WSJ, "At Trump-Kim Summit, Host Vietnam Blazes Trail for North Korea," 23 Feb. 2019 If enough North Koreans watch films, reads books, and consume news coming in through black markets on the Chinese border via USB sticks and smartphones, the regime’s brainwashing strategy will eventually fail. Alex Gladstein, Time, "The Kim-Trump Peace Talks Are a Tragedy for the North Korean People," 22 May 2018 Their records sell well on the black market and are popular with elites in the North, though banned there on pain of imprisonment. The Economist, "Can K-pop bring the two Koreas closer together?," 31 Mar. 2018 In May, authorities announced a plan to phase out its legal ivory market, which acts as a cover for the vast black market trade. Oscar Lopez, Newsweek, "The Global Fight for Tanzania’s Elephants," 22 Oct. 2015 Together, the sisters find themselves in the middle of a totally dramatic (and equally shady) black market scheme, which is just the kind of thing a Leo might secretly daydream about. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Which Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Movie You Should Watch According to Your Zodiac Sign," 2 Jan. 2019 Tehran has recently loosened the reins on the foreign-currency market a bit in a bid to divert business away from the black market. Asa Fitch, WSJ, "Iran Struggles to Rein In Illicit Trade in Dollars," 28 Aug. 2018 The inventory of the armory in the city of Capiata, about 15 miles south of the capital Asuncion, was ordered after FN FAL battle rifles used by police started appearing in the black market, BBC News reported. Lucia I. Suarez Sang, Fox News, "Thieves steal Paraguay police rifles, replace them with toy replicas," 27 Aug. 2018

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

Verb

1727, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun

1931, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for black-market

Last Updated

6 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for black-market

The first known use of black-market was in 1727

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More Definitions for black-market

black market

noun

Financial Definition of black market

What It Is

A black market is the illegal purchase and sale of goods and services.

How It Works

Drug dealing is one of the most prominent black markets in the United States. In this black market, people buy and sell drugs knowing that such activity is usually illegal and that possessing the products themselves is usually illegal. Regardless, the demand for drugs is high enough to trump the law, though people usually attempt to conceal their participation.

Many black markets exist beyond drugs, however, and though the products or services may be legal, the manner in which they are bought and sold may be illegal. For example, it is legal to have a cleaning lady, but it is illegal to hire a cleaning lady who is not in the United States legally.

Because regulatory constraints may increase the price of some goods and services, in some cases regulation can actually prompt the development of black markets. This was particularly the case in the early 1900s, when the United States outlawed alcohol, which created a massive black market for the production, transportation and sale of liquor.

Why It Matters

The presence of black markets all over the world is evidence that the laws of supply and demand are virtually impossible to defy. When regulation or taxation becomes too high, when supply and demand are way out of balance, or when competition has been too restricted, people will always look for a way to get goods or services cheaper, faster or more easily.

Source: Investing Answers

black market

noun

English Language Learners Definition of black market

: a system through which things are bought and sold illegally

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