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 Becca gets up and touches the seven silent symbols and the stone spins and spins before the room goes black. Dalene Rovenstine, EW.com, "The 100 recap: A journey to the past to meet the prequel cast," 9 July 2020 Shah also alleged that the landlord has been unwilling to do repairs, such as taking two weeks to clean broken glass in the laundry room, and not adequately cleaning recurring cases of black mold. Roland Li, SFChronicle.com, "Oakland tenants protest apartment tours during coronavirus, landlord cancels inspections," 9 July 2020 She was last seen wearing a black t-shirt with Elvis on the front and blue shorts. Robin Goist, cleveland, "Kent police searching for 17-year-old girl whose vehicle, phone were found at park," 9 July 2020 The black stainless steel pot offers 7-in-1 multi-tasking, space-saving and time-saving. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "5 deals to snag during Macy’s Black Friday sale in July," 9 July 2020 For more than a century Logansport's electricity was generated using gritty black coal. London Gibson, The Indianapolis Star, "'A magical solution': Solar developers planting flowers that could help save butterflies and bees," 9 July 2020 The commercial-grade Super Q (the Q is for quick and quiet) comes in six colors (brushed stainless steel, black, gray, white, champagne and navy), and includes a large 68-ounce BPA-free Tritan jug, as well as a 24-ounce blender cup. Lesley Kennedy, CNN Underscored, "The best blenders of 2020," 9 July 2020 Unarmed citizens killed by American police forces are disproportionately black. The Economist, "How black lives can get better Segregation still blights the lives of African-Americans," 9 July 2020 Most white people haven’t felt the same need to learn about black people’s worlds. Kc Cole, Wired, "Keeping Up With the Coronas—or Why the Virus Is Winning," 7 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun It was met warmly by the tightknit group, which Goodall estimates was about one-third white, a third black and the rest people of other races. Maura Judkis, Washington Post, "Anti-racism trainers were ready for this moment. Is everyone else?," 8 July 2020 What if Gods and heroes were dressed in black and villains in white? Aradhna Krishna, The Conversation, "How did ‘white’ become a metaphor for all things good?," 6 July 2020 Additionally, the 2021 Durango has a closet full of new shoes: six choices of new 20-inch wheel designs from silver to satin carbon to full-on black. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, "2021 Dodge Durango Gets a Much-Needed New Look and Interior," 2 July 2020 There’s also an immediate drop off, which places you in the theater, as the background is just a deep black. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "Sony’s A8H OLED TV has a great picture, but comes with a high cost," 1 July 2020 Following his arrest, Iranian authorities released a video of Zam in a car, wearing black-out goggles. Nada Altaher, Ramin Mostaghim And Amy Woodyatt, CNN, "Iran sentences journalist to death, months after he was detained in mysterious circumstances," 1 July 2020 Her anticipated follow-up to The Mothers spans decades, centered on two light-skinned sisters who run away from their insular community as teenagers, and proceed to lead adult lives in two very different worlds — one black, the other white. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, "The best books of 2020… so far," 30 June 2020 This was the year drillers were going to surge into the black. Mark Olalde, USA TODAY, "Climate Point: Mining from the Amazon to Arizona," 11 July 2020 Amazon has a range of masks available, from disposable and reusable to floral-print and classic black. Erin Parker, Glamour, "The 11 Best Face Masks on Amazon, According to Reviews," 10 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But the librarian would always find them and black them out. courant.com, "CT Poets’ Corner: The prose poetry of Charles Rafferty reflects life’s tiny moments," 18 July 2019 His vision started blacking in from all sides like it was being rubbed out with an eraser. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "This Pro Skydiver Was Invincible—Until his Heart Stopped Beating Regularly," 22 June 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

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Statistics for black

Last Updated

12 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Black.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/black. Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for black

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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