black·​list | \ ˈblak-ˌlist How to pronounce blacklist (audio) \

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

Is the Trump administration backing out of its decision to place Chinese telecom company Huawei on a Commerce Department blacklist? Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 25 July 2019 Their efforts led legislators in Washington state to pass a bill in May that directed clubs to install panic buttons in spaces where dancers could be alone with customers and to maintain blacklists of customers who have been violent. New York Times, "Strippers Are Doing It for Themselves," 24 July 2019 But that doesn’t mean there won’t be casualties of Trump’s blacklist episode. Gwynn Guilford, Quartz, "Trump’s war on Huawei risks hobbling US innovation," 20 July 2019 Pakistani leaders fear the economic consequences of ongoing scrutiny, especially if the international group moves Pakistan to its blacklist of nations that fail to fight financial crime, experts said. Sebastian Rotella, ProPublica, "Trump Cheers as Pakistan Rounds Up the Usual Suspect in Mumbai Case," 17 July 2019 Should The New Republic fire its editor(s) and blacklist Peck and other contributors who irritate the gentle sensibilities of the Twelve Angry Caitlyns who through Twitter leave such an outsized footprint in our political discourse? Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "The New Republic’s Mayor Pete Problem," 16 July 2019 Digital fingerprints for the files could then be added to automated blacklists used by companies such as Facebook, preventing it from circulating more broadly. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "How Facial Recognition Is Fighting Child Sex Trafficking," 19 June 2019 China has not provided details about which companies would be included on its blacklist or what measures would be taken against them. The Economist, "Business this week," 8 June 2019 The Trump administration added Huawei to a trade blacklist last month, barring US companies from selling or exporting technology and components to the Chinese tech firm without first obtaining a US government license. Sherisse Pham, CNN, "FedEx sues US Commerce Department over export restrictions that affect Huawei," 25 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Pinterest blacklisted those queries several years ago and instead surfaces a message encouraging pinners to get help. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "Feeling Stressed Out? Pinterest Wants to Help," 22 July 2019 Like Landis, most of these people were blacklisted and suffered a twisted penance, battling depression, substance abuse, or both. Marc Peruzzi, Outside Online, "Floyd Landis Still Has a Lot to Say," 19 July 2019 Another impediment to tamping down tensions is Washington’s threat to blacklist Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was his country’s negotiator on the nuclear accord and is the face of Iran’s global diplomacy. Melissa Etehad,, "Iran poised to press ahead with uranium enrichment despite Trump warning," 3 July 2019 Chavez then launched a campaign to blacklist oil workers who had participated in the strike from working at PDVSA or its foreign partners in Venezuela. Peter Millard,, "A Timeline of Venezuela’s Economic Rise and Fall," 16 Feb. 2019 Columbia Legal Services filed a lawsuit earlier this year in state Superior Court in Yakima on their behalf, which alleged the workers were blacklisted in violation of a settlement agreement. Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, "Foreign workers at Whatcom County farm walk off job," 21 Aug. 2018 In May, after trade talks with China collapsed, America had blacklisted the Chinese telecoms firm over security concerns related to its links to the Communist Party of China. The Economist, "Business this week," 13 July 2019 The Trump administration only blacklisted Huawei after trade war talks with China hit an impasse, say people familiar with the matter. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "Is Tech Too Intertwined For Huawei To Fall? — Data Sheet," 19 June 2019 In May, the US blacklisted the Chinese company, which bars American companies from doing business with it. Jane Li, Quartz, "The US ban on Huawei will cost the company $30 billion in lost sales," 17 June 2019

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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Last Updated

14 Aug 2019

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on blacklist

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with blacklist

Spanish Central: Translation of blacklist

Nglish: Translation of blacklist for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about blacklist

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).


to make or get by devious means

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