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

On Monday, the U.S. increased the pressure, adding governors who support Mr. Maduro to its sanctions blacklist. Mengqi Sun, WSJ, "Evolving Venezuela Sanctions Pose Problems for Banks," 25 Feb. 2019 The government has no-fly blacklists and TSA PreCheck as a travel red list. Andy Kessler, WSJ, "Big Brother Isn’t Watching You," 4 Nov. 2018 In June, the EU imposed similar sanctions on seven senior army and police officers, all of whom are on Facebook’s blacklist. Victoria Milko, The Seattle Times, "Facebook bans Myanmar military chief, others to stop hate," 28 Aug. 2018 Almost every reputable restaurant in America maintains a blacklist of customers too odious to be seated among polite company—and the entire Trump administration should be on every last one of them. Mari Uyehara, GQ, "Blacklist Every Last One of Them," 26 June 2018 The court said Park colluded with senior government officials to blacklist artists critical of Park’s government to deny them state assistance programs. Time, "Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-Hye Has Been Sentenced to 24 Years in Prison," 6 Apr. 2018 Four high-ranking officers and two military units targeted by Facebook were also put on a U.S. government blacklist earlier this month for human rights abuses. Victoria Milko, The Seattle Times, "Facebook bans Myanmar military chief, others to stop hate," 28 Aug. 2018 The courts are supposed to warn citizens before they’re added to the blacklist, allowing them 10 days to appeal the designation, but Li said he was caught by surprise. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "Spend “frivolously” and be penalized under China’s new social credit system," 2 Nov. 2018 Airbnb also is reportedly on a forthcoming U.N. Human Rights Council blacklist of firms operating in Israeli settlements. Eugene Kontorovich, WSJ, "Airbnb’s Anti-Israel Hypocrisy," 25 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Treasury has sought to dissuade companies by periodically blacklisting facilitators and warning other governments to act pre-emptively. Ian Talley, WSJ, "U.S. Sanctions Two Airline Companies for Aiding Iran," 24 Jan. 2019 The bank, one of Russia’s largest, was targeted by the U.S. in 2014 in response to Moscow’s invasion of eastern Ukraine with bans on purchases of new debt issued by the institution, though it wasn’t blacklisted. Ian Talley, WSJ, "Mnuchin Defends Plan to Remove Russian Aluminum Giant From Sanctions Blacklist," 10 Jan. 2019 Wee Tiong withdrew the lawsuit after the FBI clarified to the banks that the company hadn’t been blacklisted by the Treasury Department. Niharika Mandhana And Aruna Viswanatha, WSJ, "North Korea Built an Alternative Financial System Using a Shadowy Network of Traders," 28 Dec. 2018 Diosdado Cabello, head of the ruling Socialist Party, and his wife and brother were blacklisted by the Treasury Department. Chris Megerian,, "U.S. sanctions powerful Venezuelan official on eve of presidential election," 18 May 2018 Like, midlife crisis, institutionalized, blacklisted, no family. Mariah Haas, Fox News, "Drew Barrymore opens up about her childhood drug abuse: Cocaine 'seems like my worst nightmare right now'," 14 Sep. 2018 That previously unreported backroom maneuver is an example of a yearslong effort by U.S. officials, often working outside formal channels, to blacklist the Chinese technology giant. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Huawei Had a Deal to Give Washington Redskins Fans Free Wi-Fi, Until the Government Stepped In," 24 Dec. 2018 Amid the government campaign to blacklist the Chinese company, AT&T Inc. and Best Buy Co. this year halted sales of Huawei phones. Stu Woo, WSJ, "Huawei’s 1,500 U.S.-Based Staff Grow Wary Over Arrest," 12 Dec. 2018 On top of this, there continue to be complaints that Windows 10 version 1809 doesn't work with iCloud, and machines with the iCloud client are currently blacklisted to prevent them from receiving the 1809 update. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Latest Windows 10 update breaks Windows Media Player, Win32 apps in general," 26 Nov. 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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Last Updated

13 Mar 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 corrupt or become corrupted

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