blockbusting

noun

block·​bust·​ing ˈbläk-ˌbə-stiŋ How to pronounce blockbusting (audio)
: profiteering by inducing property owners to sell hastily and often at a loss by appeals to fears of depressed values because of threatened minority encroachment and then reselling at inflated prices

Examples of blockbusting in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Realtors were happy to capitalize on racial fears through practices including blockbusting and steering. Steven Litt, cleveland, 18 Aug. 2023 The Federal Housing Administration, commercial banks, and developers colluded to keep Black people out of certain neighborhoods by redlining and refusing to insure mortgages, and exploited them by flipping houses in white neighborhoods at higher prices, a practice known as blockbusting. Jillian Steinhauer, The New Republic, 22 Aug. 2022 The world's largest bourbon and music festival returns to Louisville with a blockbusting line-up featuring several rock icons, and Kentucky's finest mash and celebrity chefs. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, 12 Aug. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'blockbusting.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1951, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of blockbusting was in 1951

Dictionary Entries Near blockbusting

Cite this Entry

“Blockbusting.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blockbusting. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Legal Definition

blockbusting

noun
block·​bust·​ing
: profiteering by inducing property owners to sell hastily and often at a loss by appeals to fears of lowered values because of threatened minority encroachment and then reselling at inflated prices

Note: Many states have statutes prohibiting blockbusting by real estate agents.

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