Definition of black-or-white

: black-and-white entry 1 sense 5 … a simple but powerful idea that throws a wrench of complexity into the usual black-or-white arguments over free trade.— Michael Pollan, Mother Jones, May/June 2003 Studies suggest that suicidal individuals tend to categorize events or experiences into polar extremes. They rigidly adopt an absolutist, black-or-white perspective and experience difficulty acknowledging nuances, subtleties, or relativistic alternatives.— Mark A. Reinecke et al., Cognitive-Behavioral Strategies in Crisis Intervention, 2007 Applications generally embody black-or-white choices bound by rigid logic …— Steve Ditlea, PC Computing, May 1994 Diagnoses are not always clear-cut, black-or-white propositions. There are many that include gray areas.— Paul G. Donohue, Springfield (Massachusetts) Daily News, 20 June 1986

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First Known Use of black-or-white

1979, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of black-or-white was in 1979

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Cite this Entry

“Black-or-white.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

Comments on black-or-white

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dull or mediocre

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