block

noun, often attributive
\ ˈbläk How to pronounce block (audio) \

Definition of block

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a compact usually solid piece of substantial material especially when worked or altered to serve a particular purpose a block of ice blocks of cheese : such as
a : the piece of wood on which the neck of a person condemned to be beheaded is laid for execution put her neck on the block
b : a mold or form on which articles are shaped or displayed a wooden hat block
c : a hollow rectangular building unit usually of artificial material a wall of concrete blocks
d : a lightweight usually cubical and solid wooden or plastic building toy that is usually provided in sets children playing with blocks
e : the casting that contains the cylinders of an internal combustion engine engine block
f sports : starting block the first swimmer off the blocks a slow start out of the blocks
2a : obstacle putting a block on any future development
b sports : an obstruction of an opponent's play especially, football : a halting or impeding of the progress or movement of an opponent by use of the body a block by the right tackle
c medical
(1) : interruption of normal physiological function (as of a tissue or organ) especially : heart block The patient presented with a block.
(2) : local anesthesia (as by injection) produced by interruption of the flow of impulses along a nerve
d psychology : interruption or cessation especially of train of thought by competing thoughts or psychological suppression a mental block an emotional block — compare writer's block
3 slang : head sense 1 threatened to knock his block off
4 : a wooden or metal case enclosing one or more pulleys and having a hook, eye, or strap by which it may be attached
5 : a piece of material (such as wood or linoleum) having on its surface a hand-cut design from which impressions are to be printed wooden blocks used for printing books
6a(1) : a usually rectangular space (as in a city) enclosed by streets and occupied by or intended for buildings She lived on our block.
(2) : the distance along one of the sides of such a block The store is two blocks down on the right. lived a block away from the school
b(1) : a large building divided into separate functional units an apartment block
(2) : a line of row houses
(3) : a distinctive part of a building or integrated group of buildings a block of classrooms
7 : a platform from which property is sold at auction went on the block and sold for nearly three million dollars
8a : a quantity, number, or section of things dealt with as a unit bought a large block of shares a half-hour block of music a block of text
b : bloc sense 2 popular among several voting blocks
around the block
: through many experiences used especially to say that someone is no longer young or has become knowledgeable, capable, or mature because of past experience … it seemed possible that to fall for a woman who had been around the block a few times might be to rob himself of much of the purely ornamental elements … of first love.— Michael Chabon
on the block
: for sale The business is now on the block.

block

verb
blocked; blocking; blocks

Definition of block (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to make unsuitable for passage or progress by obstruction The road was blocked by a rock slide.
b archaic : blockade … a city … besieged and blocked about …— John Milton
c : to hinder the passage, progress, or accomplishment of by or as if by interposing an obstruction The ambulance was blocked by traffic. senators trying to block passage of the bill
d : to shut off from view The building blocks our view of the ocean.
e : to interfere usually legitimately with (an opponent, an opponent's shot, etc.) in various games or sports practice blocking our opponents blocked the shot with her hand
f : to prevent normal functioning or action of block a nerve with novocaine
g : to restrict the exchange of (currency, checks, etc.)
2 : to mark or indicate the outline or chief lines of block out a design
3 : to shape on, with, or as if with a block (see block entry 1 sense 1b) block a hat
4 : to secure, support, or provide with a block (see block entry 1 sense 1) blocking a plate for printing block up the rear wheels
5 : to work out (the principal positions and movements) for the performers (as of a play) also : to work out the players' positions and movements for (a scene or a play) often used with out block out a scene before the actors arrive on set
6 typesetting : to make (two or more lines of writing or type) flush at the left or at both left and right
7 golf : to hit (a ball or shot) inaccurately toward the right from a right-handed swing or toward the left from a left-handed swing : push … you get excited, don't finish your backswing and block your next drive into the foliage.— Thomas Boswell

intransitive verb

sports : to interfere usually legitimately with an opponent : to block an opponent needs to practice blocking

Other Words from block

Verb

blocker noun

Choose the Right Synonym for block

Verb

hinder, impede, obstruct, block mean to interfere with the activity or progress of. hinder stresses causing harmful or annoying delay or interference with progress. rain hindered the climb impede implies making forward progress difficult by clogging, hampering, or fettering. tight clothing that impedes movement obstruct implies interfering with something in motion or in progress by the sometimes intentional placing of obstacles in the way. the view was obstructed by billboards block implies complete obstruction to passage or progress. a landslide blocked the road

Examples of block in a Sentence

Noun a wall built out of concrete blocks We took a walk around the block. She lived on our block. The store is three blocks down on the right. Our hotel is a block from the ocean. Verb There's an accident blocking the road. The entrance was blocked by a gate. Blood clots have completely blocked one of his arteries. The protesters blocked the road with parked vehicles. The ambulance was blocked by cars in the road. An accident was blocking traffic. Could you move to the left, please. You're blocking my light. a shield that blocks the wind Several senators are trying to block the passage of the bill. His vote blocked the treaty. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the warmer months, the line stretches out of the shop and down the block, but the wait is well worth it. Esra Erol, Bon Appétit, 5 Aug. 2022 In May, Ipanema hung its shingle in Manhattan again, down the block from Keens Steakhouse, which opened in 1885 and is the last survivor of the Herald Square theatre district. Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, 5 Aug. 2022 He was recruited to teach at Claremont Graduate School and Claremont Men’s College, which was founded in 1946 for returning G.I.s as part of a consortium of schools that started with Pomona College just down the block. New York Times, 3 Aug. 2022 Over the past 17 years, Beck has found a close community through block parties and school activities. Claire Healy, Washington Post, 3 Aug. 2022 Hack, grievously wounded, managed to get up and walk down the block before collapsing, Loeb wrote. oregonlive, 3 Aug. 2022 Indeed, less than an hour after Larry’s teary testimony, the mood at Lori’s Airbnb down the block from the federal courthouse was straight-up cocky. Matt Sullivan, Rolling Stone, 2 Aug. 2022 When the owners of Kitty's Sports Grill went to open up on Super Bowl Sunday, there was a line stretching all the way down the block. Taylor Burnette, The Enquirer, 22 July 2022 During CayMAS, the usually quiet island comes alive with late-night beach fêtes, lively block parties, and a parade of trucks with speakers stacked a mile high as soca music reverberates through the streets of downtown George Town. Mariette Williams, Essence, 21 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Oswalt’s Chuck, meanwhile, has broken so many promises that Franklin decides the best thing for his mental health is to block his dad on all social media. Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times, 12 Aug. 2022 James, whose office has been conducting the investigation since 2019, previously issued multiple subpoenas seeking the former president’s testimony which Trump’s legal team unsuccessfully tried to block. Siladitya Ray, Forbes, 10 Aug. 2022 NextEra is also the parent company of Florida Power and Light, a utility that has campaigned against rooftop solar in Florida and sued to block hydropower imports in Massachusetts. Nathan Jensen, Chron, 8 Aug. 2022 On the other hand, an antiperspirant is designed to physically block the release of sweat or perspiration. Sarah Ban, SELF, 3 Aug. 2022 Kirby says China may argue that the Taiwan Strait—a major channel for shipping—is not international waters and try to block U.S. naval ships from sailing through. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune, 2 Aug. 2022 Green groups have sued to block a lithium mining project in Nevada. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 31 July 2022 Then the researchers used their optogenetic off switch to block the release of noradrenaline, and this made the mice even more hesitant. S. Hussain Hussain Ather, Scientific American, 29 July 2022 Trump has repeatedly asserted executive privilege — even as a former president — to try to block witness testimony and the release of White House documents. Gary Fields, Anchorage Daily News, 18 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of block

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1602, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for block

Noun and Verb

Middle English blok, from Middle French & Middle Dutch; Middle French bloc, from Middle Dutch blok; akin to Old High German bloh block

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Time Traveler for block

Time Traveler

The first known use of block was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near block

Bloch wall

block

Block

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Statistics for block

Last Updated

14 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Block.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/block. Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for block

block

noun
\ ˈbläk How to pronounce block (audio) \

Kids Definition of block

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a solid piece of some material usually with one or more flat sides a block of ice
2 : an area of land surrounded by four streets in a city
3 : the length of one side of a city block
4 : a number of things thought of as forming a group or unit a block of seats
5 : a large building divided into separate houses or shops an apartment block
6 : an action that stops or slows down an opponent (as in football)
7 : something that prevents a person from thinking about certain things a mental block
8 : something that stops or makes passage or progress difficult : obstruction
9 : a case enclosing one or more pulleys

block

verb
blocked; blocking

Kids Definition of block (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to stop or make passage through or through to difficult : obstruct A gate blocked the entrance.
2 : to stop or make the passage of difficult An accident is blocking traffic. Opponents blocked the bill in Congress.
3 : to make an opponent's movement (as in football) difficult

block

noun, often attributive
\ ˈbläk How to pronounce block (audio) \

Medical Definition of block

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : interruption of normal physiological function of a tissue or organ respiratory block due to carbon monoxide especially : heart block
3 : interruption of a train of thought by competing thoughts or psychological suppression

block

transitive verb

Medical Definition of block (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to prevent normal functioning of (a bodily element) block a nerve with novocaine
2 : to obstruct the effect of a carboxyl group blocked by esterification

intransitive verb

: to experience or exhibit psychological blocking or blockage

Other Words from block

blocker \ -​ər How to pronounce block (audio) \ noun

Block biographical name

\ ˈbläk How to pronounce Block (audio) \

Definition of Block

Herbert Lawrence 1909–2001 Herblock \ ˈhər-​ˌbläk How to pronounce Block (audio) \ American editorial cartoonist

More from Merriam-Webster on block

Nglish: Translation of block for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of block for Arabic Speakers

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