black·​list | \ˈblak-ˌlist \

Definition of blacklist 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a list of persons who are disapproved of or are to be punished or boycotted

2 : a list of banned or excluded things of disreputable character a domain-name blacklist … helped the government keep marijuana on the blacklist.— Cynthia Cotts


blacklisted; blacklisting; blacklists

Definition of blacklist (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to put on a blacklist

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Other Words from blacklist


blacklister noun

Examples of blacklist in a Sentence


He's on the FBI's blacklist. The rental company has created a blacklist of bad drivers.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

On Tuesday the Trump administration took further steps to isolate Iran economically, placing the governor of its central bank on a terrorist blacklist. Barbara Surk, New York Times, "Clashing With Trump, E.U. Tries to Blunt U.S. Sanctions on Iran," 17 May 2018 But Wall Street isn’t yet sure what to make of the government’s blacklist, let alone how to apply it. Leah Mcgrath Goodman, Newsweek, "Sanctions Land Like a Bomb in Corporate Suites," 25 Apr. 2014 The Financial Action Task Force—an international group that monitors money laundering worldwide—avoided a decision to return Iran to its blacklist of countries not doing enough to combat money laundering. Tom Keatinge, Time, "Another Death Knell for the Iran Nuclear Deal," 4 July 2018 America was living under a cloud of fear created by the House Un-American Activities Committee and McCarthyism, which brought political repression, blacklists and censorship of literature and art. Ramin Bahrani, New York Times, "Why ‘Fahrenheit 451’ Is the Book for Our Social Media Age," 10 May 2018 For their part, the Russians have compiled an official blacklist of 451 native fans banned from games by court orders, although that number is smaller than similar hooligan list in other large European nations. Washington Post, "Amid bitter UK-Russia relations, police link up at World Cup," 16 June 2018 After receiving public feedback, the administration cut 515 imports from the blacklist and added 284 others. Paul Wiseman, The Seattle Times, "What you need to know about the upcoming U.S.-China tariffs," 2 July 2018 Last year’s report, the first by Guterres, who succeeded Ban, was delayed until October and changed the blacklist. Washington Post, "Coalition: Israel, Myanmar must go on children’s blacklist," 6 Mar. 2018 One aspect of that darkness is that compiling a blacklist has itself become risky. The Economist, "Some science journals that claim to peer review papers do not do so," 21 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Its decrepit aircraft have crashed, been blacklisted by the U.S. military for smuggling opium and refused entry to Europe for safety deficiencies. Fahim Abed, The Seattle Times, "Bloody Taliban attack grounds much of Afghan airline," 26 Jan. 2018 The North Korean official was also blacklisted by the U.S. and South Korea for supporting the regime’s nuclear and missile programs in 2010 and 2016, Reuters reported. Fox News, "North Korea sends infamous ex-spy chief to US in bid to revive peace summit," 29 May 2018 At last year's Confederations Cup, Russian authorities blacklisted 191 fans with criminal records, and just hours before the tournament began, dozens more, including members of some radical groups, were refused permission to attend the tournament. Vladimir Isachenkov, Fox News, "World Cup security Putin's top priority but threats loom," 4 June 2018 Parts bear the stamp of the Shahid Bagheri Industrial Group, an Iranian firm that is blacklisted by the UN. The Economist, "Insecurity complexGulf states fear being encircled by Iran and abandoned by America," 21 June 2018 His parents, actors Jack and Madeline Gilford, were called before the committee, refused to testify and had their careers temporarily crater from being blacklisted as a result. Marcus Crowder, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Finks’: Son’s TheatreWorks play about his parents, blacklist feels uneven," 12 June 2018 To prevent users from removing the malicious extensions, the attackers automatically closed the extensions tab each time it was opened and blacklisted a variety of security tools provided by Facebook and Google. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Malicious Chrome extensions infect 100,000-plus users, again," 10 May 2018 Access for Ousted The president once again speaks occasionally by telephone with Anthony Scaramucci, the communications director Kelly fired last summer and blacklisted from the White House grounds. Jennifer Jacobs,, "Kelly Loses White House Clout as Trump Blazes Own Path," 29 Mar. 2018 Steinmetz was among an estimated 500 college professors nationwide who lost their jobs during the McCarthy era, many of them blacklisted for years afterward., "July 7, 1955: Steinmetz called Communist at hearing," 7 July 2018

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


1624, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1702, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for blacklist

Last Updated

6 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for blacklist

The first known use of blacklist was in 1624

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More Definitions for blacklist



English Language Learners Definition of blacklist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a list of people, organizations, etc., that are disapproved of or that are to be punished or avoided



English Language Learners Definition of blacklist (Entry 2 of 2)

: to say that a person, company, etc., should be avoided or not allowed to do something : to place (someone or something) on a blacklist

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Comments on blacklist

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


playful or foolish behavior

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