black

adjective
\ ˈblak How to pronounce black (audio) \

Definition of black

 (Entry 1 of 6)

1 : of the color black (see black entry 2 sense 2) a black sweater a black dog as black as coal
2 or Black
a : of or relating to any of various population groups having dark pigmentation of the skin black Americans
b : of or relating to African American people or their culture black literature a black college Black pride Black studies
3 : dressed in black (see black entry 2 sense 2) playing for the black team
4 : dirty, soiled hands black with grime
5a : characterized by the absence of light a black night
b : reflecting or transmitting little or no light black water
c : served without milk or cream black coffee
6a old-fashioned + literary : thoroughly sinister or evil : wicked When the King heard of this black deed, in his grief and rage he denounced relentless war against his Barons …— Charles Dickens
b : indicative of condemnation or discredit got a black mark for being late
c : heavy, serious the play was a black intrigue
7 : connected with or invoking the supernatural and especially the devil black magic the black arts
8a : very sad, gloomy, or calamitous black despair
b : marked by the occurrence of disaster black Friday
9a : characterized by hostility or angry discontent : sullen black resentment filled his heart
b : distorted or darkened by anger his face was black with rage
10 : having dark skin, hair, and eyes the black Irish
11 chiefly British : subject to boycott by trade-union members as employing or favoring nonunion workers or as operating under conditions considered unfair by the trade union a ship that was declared black by the union
12a of propaganda : conducted so as to appear to originate within an enemy country and designed to weaken enemy morale Black propaganda … is the business of going to elaborate ends to spread half-true, misleading or downright false information to get your enemy in trouble.— Everett G. Martin
b : characterized by or connected with the use of black propaganda Press reports say that in addition to dropping leaflets over urban areas, messages were broadcast over two "black" radio stations, … both of which were operated by the CIA.Strategic Intelligence
13 : characterized by grim, distorted, or grotesque satire black humor
14 : of or relating to covert intelligence operations black government programs
15 : having a very deep or low register (see register entry 1 sense 4b) a bass with a black voice

black

noun

Definition of black (Entry 2 of 6)

1 : a pigment or dye of the color black : a black pigment or dye especially : one consisting largely of carbon
2 : the achromatic (see achromatic sense 3) color of least lightness characteristically perceived to belong to objects that neither reflect nor transmit light walls painted in black
3 : something that is black: such as
a : black clothing looks good in black
b : a black animal (such as a horse)
c baseball : the narrow, black edge of home plate a pitch on the black [=a pitch that crosses over the very edge of home plate]
4a : a person belonging to any of various population groups having dark pigmentation of the skin
b : african american

Note: Use of the noun black in the singular to refer to a person is considered offensive. The plural form blacks is commonly used to refer to black people as a group or community.

a position supported by both blacks and whites blacks and other people of color
5 in board games : the pieces of a dark color in a board game for two players (such as chess) black moves second
6 : total or nearly total absence of light the black of night
7 : the condition of making a profit usually used with theoperating in the black — compare red sense 6

black

verb
blacked; blacking; blacks

Definition of black (Entry 3 of 6)

intransitive verb

: to become black (see black entry 1)

transitive verb

1 : to make black blacked his boots
2 chiefly British : to declare (something, such as a business or industry) subject to boycott by trade-union members

Black

biographical name (1)
\ ˈblak How to pronounce Black (audio) \

Definition of Black (Entry 4 of 6)

Hugo LaFayette 1886–1971 American jurist and politician

Black

biographical name (2)

Definition of Black (Entry 5 of 6)

Sir James Whyte 1924–2010 British pharmacologist

Black

geographical name

Definition of Black (Entry 6 of 6)

1 river 101 miles (162 kilometers) long in east central Louisiana flowing south into the Red River
2 or in China Amo \ ˈä-​ˈmō How to pronounce Amo (audio) \ or in Vietnam Da \ ˈdä How to pronounce Da (audio) \ river 500 miles (805 kilometers) long in southeastern Asia rising in central Yunnan, China, and flowing southeast to the Red River in northern Vietnam

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Other Words from black

Adjective

blackish \ ˈbla-​kish How to pronounce blackish (audio) \ adjective
blackly adverb
blackness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for black

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of black in a Sentence

Adjective a little black dress blends into the night very well Noun The wall was painted in black. a mixture of grays and blacks She was dressed in black. Verb He blacked his boots with polish. Labor union members have blacked the company.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective At Nordstrom, a 32-ounce wide mouth Hydro Flask is 25% off in black or white. Staff, CNN Underscored, "Black Friday 2019: All the best deals you can shop today," 29 Nov. 2019 The surfer, dressed in all black, was last seen drifting out to sea in Corson Inlet after separating from the board on Thursday afternoon, the US Coast Guard said. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "The Coast Guard is searching for a kite surfer last seen drifting out to sea on Thanksgiving," 29 Nov. 2019 Big brown eyes, a box cut of curly black hair and a sweet, charming smile. Savannah Eadens, The Courier-Journal, "A Louisville mom couldn't find a Christmas story about a brown boy. So she wrote her own," 29 Nov. 2019 The suspect wore all black, including gloves and a ski mask. cleveland, "House is vandalized, suspect caught in Richmond Heights: Cleveland Heights police blotter," 29 Nov. 2019 And trying to bridge the gap between the black community and law enforcement. Crystal Hill, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Bryan Roach to retire at end of the year," 29 Nov. 2019 In 2003 armed groups began a rebellion in Darfur, a relatively prosperous region the size of Spain where black African locals complained that the government in Khartoum was oppressing them. The Economist, "Sudan’s revolution could end the conflict in Darfur," 28 Nov. 2019 Japanese black pine grows out of its sheared state to form a broad-topped tree of about 30 feet tall. Calvin Finch, ExpressNews.com, "The best living evergreen Christmas trees you can plant later in your San Antonio garden," 28 Nov. 2019 Police are looking for three or four male suspects who might be associated with a black car that was parked behind the victim's car at the time of the shooting, according to the release. Chris Mayhew, Cincinnati.com, "18-year-old killed in Thanksgiving Eve shooting in Springdale," 28 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun About 58 percent of Alabama children are white, nearly 30 percent are black, and about 8 percent are Hispanic. Anna Claire Vollers | Avollers@al.com, al, "Infant mortality hits all-time low in Alabama, but racial gap remains, new report says," 18 Nov. 2019 Now many in the design world say there is a new neutral in town: black. Elizabeth Mayhew, Washington Post, "Ready for the new neutral room color? It’s black.," 12 Nov. 2019 About 40 percent of district residents are white, while 26 percent are Hispanic, 19 percent are Asian, and 13 percent are black, according to government estimates. BostonGlobe.com, "Then came even more death: the shooting in August at a Walmart in El Paso when a gunman killed 22 people, later telling police that he was targeting Mexicans, and a few weeks later when a rampage on the streets of Odessa and Midland left seven dead.," 10 Nov. 2019 From the early days when his hair was jet black, to the times when grey specks started to appear, David James was always a reliable pair of hands between the sticks - even during his bleached blonde phase. SI.com, "90min's Premier League Hall of Fame: Class of 2018," 31 Oct. 2019 Nearly two-thirds of the department's 1,100 officers are white, just over 20% are Hispanic, and about 10% are black. Anchorage Daily News, "Police chief: Officer’s fatal shooting of black woman was inexcusable," 15 Oct. 2019 Nearly two-thirds of the department’s 1,100 officers are white, just over 20% are Hispanic, and about 10% are black. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fort Worth officer released on bond after murder charge," 15 Oct. 2019 Nearly two-thirds of the department’s 1,100 officers are white, just over 20 percent are Hispanic, and about 10 percent are black. Fox News, "Atatiana Jefferson, Texas police shooting victim, had been assuming role of family matriarch," 15 Oct. 2019 Nearly two-thirds of the department’s 1,100 officers are white, just over 20% are Hispanic, and about 10% are black. Jill Bleed, Twin Cities, "Texas officer charged with murder, resigns after shooting," 14 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The suit accuses Netflix of a lack of diversity in its senior leadership ranks, and a history of insensitivity to black people. Gene Maddaus, chicagotribune.com, "Mo’Nique files race and sex discrimination suit against Netflix," 14 Nov. 2019 Both seemingly liberal places (although, to my knowledge, Graham Potter has never blacked up), with middling sporting gravitas. SI.com, "Rugby World Cup 2019: Comparing Every RWC Nation With Their Premier League Counterpart," 20 Sep. 2019 One is struck on the head and dragged into the grave, still glowing with life until the earth blacks him out. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Atlantis': Film Review | Venice 2019," 7 Sep. 2019 Chloe Cushman There is no other business like the N.B.A. Its rainbow jump shots, rim-rattling dunks and heart-pounding drama are gleaming monuments to black America. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, "Is Slavery’s Legacy in the Power Dynamics of Sports?," 16 Aug. 2019 Reddington recalled blacking in and out as someone called 911 for help. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Man accidentally shot by FBI agent in a Denver nightclub recalls bizarre incident," 10 June 2018 Reddington recalled blacking in and out as someone called 911 for help. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Man accidentally shot by FBI agent in a Denver nightclub recalls bizarre incident," 10 June 2018 Reddington recalled blacking in and out as someone called 911 for help. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Man accidentally shot by FBI agent in a Denver nightclub recalls bizarre incident," 10 June 2018 The collection is available in a range of three materials in Dell’Acqua's go-to pink and black, as well as Tod’s signature brown leather. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Tod’s Is Launching Their First Factory Capsule Collection with Alessandro Dell’Acqua," 19 Nov. 2018

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

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for black

Adjective, Noun, and Verb

Middle English blak, from Old English blæc; akin to Old High German blah black, and probably to Latin flagrare to burn, Greek phlegein

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Time Traveler for black

Time Traveler

The first known use of black was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for black

Last Updated

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Black.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blacked. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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More Definitions for black

black

noun

Financial Definition of black

What It Is

Black is slang for profit. Profit, also called net income, is the amount remaining after all costs, depreciation, interest, taxes, and other expenses have been deducted from total sales. Profit is also referred to as the bottom line, net profit, or net earnings. The formula for profit is:

Total Sales - Total Expenses = Profit

Note that preferred stock dividends are typically included in the traditional net income calculation, but common stock dividends are not.

How It Works

Here is some information about Company XYZ for last year:

Using the formula and the information above, we can calculate that Company XYZ's profit was:

$1,000,000 - $500,000 - $300,000 - $100,000 - $5,000 + $1,000 - $10,000 - $10,000 = $76,000

This means that Company XYZ made $76,000 of profit last year. It was “in the black.”

Why It Matters

Philosophically speaking, being in the black is what motivates industry, entrepreneurship, and innovation. It is the very thing that enables people to feed themselves, clothe their families, create jobs, and set money aside for the future. It is not a vice, but rather an incentive to dream, take risks, and try harder. As Adam Smith, the founder of modern economics, put it, "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”

In the retail industry, companies often don’t become profitable until the fourth quarter, when Christmas shopping begins. This is the source of the term “Black Friday.”

Source: Investing Answers

black

adjective
How to pronounce Black (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of black

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: having the very dark color of coal or the night sky
: very dark because there is no light
: of or relating to a race of people who have dark skin and who come originally from Africa

black

noun

English Language Learners Definition of black (Entry 2 of 3)

: the dark color of coal or the night sky
: black clothing
: a person belonging to a race of people who have dark skin : a black person

black

verb

English Language Learners Definition of black (Entry 3 of 3)

old-fashioned + literary : to make (something) black
British : to refuse to work for or with (a business, employer, etc.) or to buy (goods, services, etc.)

black

adjective
\ ˈblak How to pronounce black (audio) \
blacker; blackest

Kids Definition of black

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : of the color of coal : colored black
2 : very dark a black night
3 often capitalized : of or relating to any peoples having dark skin and especially any of the original peoples of Africa south of the Sahara
4 : of or relating to Americans having ancestors from Africa south of the Sahara
5 : wicked sense 1 a black deed
6 : very sad or gloomy in a black mood
7 : unfriendly sense 1 a black look

Other Words from black

blackish adjective
blackness noun

black

noun

Kids Definition of black (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : the color of coal : the opposite of white
2 : black clothing He is dressed in black.
3 : a person belonging to a race of people having dark skin
4 : an American having black African ancestors : african-american
5 : total or near total darkness the black of night
6 : the condition of making a profit The company is in the black.

black

verb
blacked; blacking

Kids Definition of black (Entry 3 of 3)

black out
: to lose consciousness or the ability to see for a short time

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More from Merriam-Webster on black

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for black

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with black

Spanish Central: Translation of black

Nglish: Translation of black for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of black for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about black

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