black·​face | \ ˈblak-ˌfās \

Definition of blackface

: makeup applied to a performer playing a black person especially in a minstrel show also : a performer wearing such makeup

Examples of blackface in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The scathing track accused Drake of having a secret illegitimate son, as well as unearthed a photo of Drake wearing blackface, which Drake later addressed. Fox News, "Drake subtlety hits back at Kanye West after the rapper calls him 'insensitive'," 30 Aug. 2018 There are many, including myself, who see the act of whites dressing in blackface as a disrespectful act. Ezra Klein, Vox, "White threat in a browning America," 30 July 2018 Megyn Kelly Today was canceled last week after host Megyn Kelly made controversial comments about blackface. Megan Friedman, Good Housekeeping, "Here’s What the ‘Today' Show Is Doing in the Third Hour Without Megyn Kelly," 29 Oct. 2018 The song's album art features an image of Drake allegedly wearing 19th century minstrel show blackface – an image Pusha T claims is an unedited photograph taken by David Leyes. Justin Carissimo, CBS News, "Pusha T claims Drake has a secret child with a porn star on new song," 30 May 2018 Gigi Hadid apologized for a European magazine cover that appears to show the model donning blackface., "Gigi Hadid apologizes for appearing to wear blackface on Vogue Italia cover," 4 May 2018 The student used blackface to represent the black team. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, "Cal Poly fraternity suspended after member poses in blackface," 12 Apr. 2018 Drake explained a photo of him in blackface, which Pusha T used as the cover art for his latest (and ruthless) diss track. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "Quickly catch up on the day's news," 31 May 2018 An undoctored photo taken by David Leyes of Drake in blackface, an image intended to correspond with Pusha’s claim that Drake grew up insecure about his mixed race heritage. Dave Quinn,, "Pusha T Accuses Drake of Having an Illegitimate Child in Scathing New Diss Track," 30 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blackface.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of blackface

1847, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about blackface

Statistics for blackface

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for blackface

The first known use of blackface was in 1847

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on blackface

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with blackface Encyclopedia article about blackface

Comments on blackface

What made you want to look up blackface? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


important, real, or meaningful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!