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 Block (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 Nearby, another robot called MULE uses a burly 12-foot arm to lift heavy cement blocks for workers, who then guide them into place. Jennifer Alsever, Fortune, "How Robots Are Changing the Construction Industry," 23 Nov. 2019 The Huskies were 21-for-70 from the floor, and took their share of bad shots, continuing to attack the rim despite nine Xavier blocks. Dom Amore, courant.com, "UConn men fight to finish, but fall to Xavier, 75-74, in double OT in Charleston Classic semifinal," 23 Nov. 2019 But a chop-block penalty pushed the Eagles back to the 26, which eventually led to Chaminade blocking Luke Davis' 36-yard field goal attempt. J. Darin Darst, sun-sentinel.com, "Chaminade-Madonna blasts host Calvary Christian in 3A, gets to fourth final four in a row," 23 Nov. 2019 Between-the-tackles body type allows for violence at the point of attack as a tackler and heavy pads taking on blocks. Andrew Nemec | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Noah Sewell, 5-star linebacker, commits to Oregon Ducks," 23 Nov. 2019 Among the deaths: A 37-year-old woman from Milwaukee who had a stroke next door to the region’s top stroke center and a 4-week-old baby who lived five blocks from a hospital in Chicago. John Diedrich, jsonline.com, "Some busy hospitals say they must turn away ambulances. Here's how one state banned the practice," 22 Nov. 2019 Meanwhile, authorities searching the area located Scheff about one block from the scene and arrested him, the SPD spokesperson confirmed. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "Pregnant Woman Is Stabbed to Death in a 'Random Act of Violence' Outside of Her California Home," 22 Nov. 2019 Demand is so high almost 700 blocks of it were stolen last year—and the black market for cheese is growing, French news website The Local reported in 2018. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian, "This Cheese’s Secret Ingredient Comes From Caves on Volcanic Hillsides," 22 Nov. 2019 Iran has instituted partial or full internet blocks plenty of times in the past, but rarely at this scale. Sharif Paget, CNN, "Iran warns security forces may act against gas price protests," 22 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Griffin issued a temporary restraining order at 5 p.m. on Friday blocking it. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, "Defendants in Nancy Worley lawsuit ask judge to recuse," 7 Nov. 2019 Starting in the 1950s, researchers tried to turn tumors’ glutamine dependence against them, developing drugs to block its metabolism. Mitch Leslie, Science | AAAS, "Revamped cancer drug starves tumors in mice," 7 Nov. 2019 Understanding geo-location Geo-location technology may be used to block online content within a specified geographical area. Dan Jerker B Svantesson, Quartz India, "An Indian court’s recent ruling further endangers internet freedom as we know it," 5 Nov. 2019 But the plan has never been enacted because of a series of federal court rulings blocking it. Deborah Yetter, The Courier-Journal, "Indiana suspends Medicaid work requirements. So, what does that mean in Kentucky?," 1 Nov. 2019 Gore-Tex had pores small enough to block a water droplet but large enough for the water molecules in vapor to pass through. Marc Bain, Quartzy, "The North Face’s new fabric is the latest attempt in an endless struggle to stay dry," 31 Oct. 2019 For fishermen like O’Donoghue, however, Rockall is less important for its natural beauty than its capacity to block access to vital fishing grounds. Greg Noone, Smithsonian, "This Tiny, Uninhabitable Islet in the North Atlantic Has Been Attracting Fishermen and Adventurers for Decades," 30 Oct. 2019 The ball went right at Adams who opted to block the baseball with his chest rather than drop his beers. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Bud Light is sending the beer-holding fan who blocked HR with his chest to Game 6," 29 Oct. 2019 The Chinese government has been quite sensitive about how the protests are covered particularly at home in China where Quartz along with other publications have been blocked online for this reason. Celine Sui, Quartz Africa, "China wants state media to peddle its “soft power” in Africa, but tech platforms are a better bet," 29 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for block

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for block

Last Updated

26 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Block.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blocking. Accessed 10 December 2019.

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More Definitions for block

block

noun
How to pronounce Block (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for block

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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