block

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

Definition of block

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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 3)

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

Block

biographical name
\ ˈbläk How to pronounce Block (audio) \

Definition of Block (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Six-foot-long snake rescued from car engine: Police and bystanders teamed up to rescue a 6-foot-long snake that had wrapped itself around the engine block of a car in Connecticut on the Fourth of July. Washington Post, "Explosion reported at university dormitory," 6 July 2019 Netflix’s certification block also applies to casting video, unfortunately. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "Nebula Capsule II mini projector review: TV in a can," 6 July 2019 The Brazil international is understood to be facing the chopping block at the Parc des Princes as the Ligue 1 champions look to undergo a major overhaul in identity this summer. SI.com, "Real Madrid 'Offered' Neymar on Two Occasions Amid Ongoing PSG and Barcelona Tension," 6 July 2019 His somewhat block art style explodes with personality that conveys a deep complexity beneath its deceptively simple initial appearance. David James, Anchorage Daily News, "These books will keep kids reading this summer - and discovering Alaska in the process," 6 July 2019 That was partly because the Healthy Streets Operations Center was doing a two-week outreach on specific blocks in the Tenderloin last month and connecting more people to the city’s myriad services. Trisha Thadani, SFChronicle.com, "Mayor Breed promised 1,000 new shelter beds by end of 2020. Will she meet her goal?," 5 July 2019 The boy would ride his bike the 20-odd blocks from his home to Concordia University, where the North team practiced. oregonlive.com, "A game of catch between Walter Bailey and Dan Devaney still is changing lives 37 years later," 5 July 2019 As a result, the yard waste blocks storm water from entering the drainage system and could cause local flooding. baltimoresun.com, "Aberdeen: TAPS fundraisers for military families on tap," 5 July 2019 For comparisons sake, last year's No. 1 overall pick, Deandre Ayton, had 10 points and eight rebounds with one block in 22 minutes of action with the Phoenix Suns. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Zion Williamson's debut is up and down, then ends early after knee injury," 5 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Kaline fired a strike to catcher Frank House; the throw beat Marsh by so much that House had plenty of time to block the plate and brace himself for a collision. Gene Myers, Detroit Free Press, "65 years ago today, Al Kaline did something amazing for the Detroit Tigers," 7 July 2019 Santos lands a few big punches and then a heavy head kick that Jones is able to block. Todd Martin, latimes.com, "UFC 239: Jon Jones defeats Thiago Santos; Nunes stops Holm," 6 July 2019 The two sides ended up in court, as the existing leadership sought to block the activist opposition from campaigning on school grounds. Dylan Scott, Vox, "The strike that brought teachers unions back from the dead," 5 July 2019 At trial, Barrow-Shaver and Carrizo agreed that the contract allowed Carrizo to block the sale but differed on whether doing so was customary in the oil and gas. Janet Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Language edges custom in drilling contracts, Texas Supreme Court rules," 5 July 2019 Two enter to retrieve some boxes, and Steve manages to block the closing door behind them for Scoop Troop to escape. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "R29 Binge Club: Stranger Things Season 3," 5 July 2019 However, such a move by the president directing the Census Bureau to include the question could prompt a new round of lawsuits from civil rights groups who initially sued to block the question. Dartunorro Clark, NBC News, "Trump says he's considering executive order to add citizenship question to census," 5 July 2019 For hours, as protests spread across Israel Tuesday night, police gave them a wide berth, allowing them to block off major streets in cities across the country. Oren Liebermann, CNN, "An off-duty police officer shot dead an unarmed black teen, sparking riots. But it didn't happen where you think," 4 July 2019 Doesn’t my email app have a way to block these pixels? Verge Staff, The Verge, "Everything you need to know about the invisible e-mail tool that tracks you," 3 July 2019

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.

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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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Learn More about block

Dictionary Entries near block

blocage

Bloch

Bloch wall

block

Block

blockade

blockade-runner

Statistics for block

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for block

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

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More Definitions for block

block

noun

English Language Learners Definition of block

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a solid piece of material (such as rock or wood) that has flat sides and is usually square or rectangular in shape
: an area of land surrounded by four streets in a city
US : the length of one city block

block

verb

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

: to be placed in front of (something, such as a road or path) so that people or things cannot pass through
: to place something in front of (something, such as a road) so that people or things cannot go into the area
: to stop (someone or something) from moving through or going by

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

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 blocker (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on block

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with block

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for block

Spanish Central: Translation of block

Nglish: Translation of block for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of block for Arabic Speakers

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