Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Being of the color black, producing or reflecting comparatively little light and having no predominant hue.
  • adj. Having little or no light: a black, moonless night.
  • adj. Of or belonging to a racial group having brown to black skin, especially one of African origin: the Black population of South Africa.
  • adj. Of or belonging to an American ethnic group descended from African peoples having dark skin; African-American.
  • adj. Very dark in color: rich black soil; black, wavy hair.
  • adj. Soiled, as from soot; dirty: feet black from playing outdoors.
  • adj. Evil; wicked: the pirates' black deeds.
  • adj. Cheerless and depressing; gloomy: black thoughts.
  • adj. Being or characterized by morbid or grimly satiric humor: a black comedy.
  • adj. Marked by anger or sullenness: gave me a black look.
  • adj. Attended with disaster; calamitous: a black day; the stock market crash on Black Friday.
  • adj. Deserving of, indicating, or incurring censure or dishonor: "Man ... has written one of his blackest records as a destroyer on the oceanic islands” ( Rachel Carson).
  • adj. Wearing clothing of the darkest visual hue: the black knight.
  • adj. Served without milk or cream: black coffee.
  • adj. Appearing to emanate from a source other than the actual point of origin. Used chiefly of intelligence operations: black propaganda; black radio transmissions.
  • adj. Disclosed, for reasons of security, only to an extremely limited number of authorized persons; very highly classified: black programs in the Defense Department; the Pentagon's black budget.
  • adj. Chiefly British Boycotted as part of a labor union action.
  • n. The achromatic color value of minimum lightness or maximum darkness; the color of objects that absorb nearly all light of all visible wavelengths; one extreme of the neutral gray series, the opposite being white. Although strictly a response to zero stimulation of the retina, the perception of black appears to depend on contrast with surrounding color stimuli.
  • n. A pigment or dye having this color value.
  • n. Complete or almost complete absence of light; darkness.
  • n. Clothing of the darkest hue, especially such clothing worn for mourning.
  • n. A member of a racial group having brown to black skin, especially one of African origin.
  • n. An American descended from peoples of African origin having brown to black skin; an African American.
  • n. Something that is colored black.
  • n. Games The black-colored pieces, as in chess or checkers.
  • n. Games The player using these pieces.
  • transitive v. To make black: blacked their faces with charcoal.
  • transitive v. To apply blacking to: blacked the stove.
  • transitive v. Chiefly British To boycott as part of a labor union action.
  • intransitive v. To become black.
  • black out To lose consciousness or memory temporarily: blacked out at the podium.
  • black out To suppress (a fact or memory, for example) from conscious recognition: blacked out many of my wartime experiences.
  • black out To prohibit the dissemination of, especially by censorship: blacked out the news issuing from the rebel provinces.
  • black out To extinguish or conceal all lights that might help enemy aircraft find a target during an air raid.
  • black out To extinguish all the lights on (a stage).
  • black out To cause a failure of electrical power in: Storm damage blacked out much of the region.
  • black out To withhold (a televised event or program) from a broadcast area: blacked out the football game on local stations.
  • black out To withhold a televised event or program from: blacked out the entire state to increase ticket sales.
  • idiom in the black On the credit side of a ledger; prosperous.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Absorbing all light and reflecting none; dark and colourless.
  • adj. Without light.
  • adj. Of or relating to any of various population groups having dark pigmentation of the skin.
  • adj. Bad; evil; ill-omened.
  • adj. Illegitimate, illegal or disgraced.
  • adj. Overcrowded.
  • adj. Without any cream, milk, or creamer.
  • adj. Of or relating to the playing pieces of a board game deemed to belong to the "black" set (in chess the set used by the player who moves second) (often regardless of the pieces' actual colour).
  • adj. Related to the Christian Democratic Union.
  • n. The colour/color perceived in the absence of light.
  • n. A black dye, pigment.
  • n. A pen, pencil, crayon, etc., made of black pigment.
  • n. Black cloth hung up at funerals.
  • n. A person of African descent, Aborigine or Maori.
  • n. The black ball.
  • n. The edge of home plate
  • n. a type of firecracker that is really more dark brown in colour.
  • n. blackcurrant syrup (in mixed drinks, e.g. snakebite and black, cider and black).
  • n. In chess and similar games, the person playing with the black set of pieces.
  • v. To make black, to blacken.
  • v. To apply blacking to something.
  • v. To boycott something or someone, usually as part of an industrial dispute.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Destitute of light, or incapable of reflecting it; of the color of soot or coal; of the darkest or a very dark color, the opposite of white; characterized by such a color.
  • adj. In a less literal sense: Enveloped or shrouded in darkness; very dark or gloomy.
  • adj. Fig.: Dismal, gloomy, or forbidding, like darkness; destitute of moral light or goodness; atrociously wicked; cruel; mournful; calamitous; horrible.
  • adj. Expressing menace, or discontent; threatening; sullen; foreboding.
  • adv. Sullenly; threateningly; maliciously; so as to produce blackness.
  • n. That which is destitute of light or whiteness; the darkest color, or rather a destitution of all color.
  • n. A black pigment or dye.
  • n. A negro; a person whose skin is of a black color, or shaded with black; esp. a member or descendant of certain African races.
  • n. A black garment or dress
  • n. The part of a thing which is distinguished from the rest by being black.
  • n. A stain; a spot; a smooch.
  • transitive v. To make black; to blacken; to soil; to sully.
  • transitive v. To make black and shining, as boots or a stove, by applying blacking and then polishing with a brush.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Possessing in the highest degree the property of absorbing light; reflecting and transmitting little or no light; of the color of soot or coal; of the darkest possible hue; sable; optically, wholly destitute of color, or absolutely dark, whether from the absence or from the total absorption of light: opposed to white.
  • Hence Characterized by the absence of light; involved or enveloped in darkness.
  • Dismal; gloomy; sullen and forbidding: as, a black prospect.
  • Destitute of moral light or goodness; evil; wicked; atrocious: as, black deeds.
  • Calamitous; disastrous; bringing ruin or desolation: as, black tidings; black Friday.
  • Deadly; malignant; baneful: as, a black augury.
  • Clouded with anger; frowning; threatening; boding ill: as, black looks.
  • Wearing black or dark clothing, armor, etc.: as, Edward the Black Prince; black friars.
  • Stained with dirt; soiled; dirty: as, black hands.
  • n. Black color; the darkest color, properly the negation of all color: the opposite of white.
  • n. A black dye or pigment: as, blacks and grays.
  • n. A black part of something, as that of the eye; specifically, the opening in the iris; the pupil: in opposition to the white.
  • n. Black clothing, especially when worn as a sign of mourning: as, to be in black: sometimes used in the plural.
  • n. plural Funeral drapery, consisting of hangings of black cloth.
  • n. A mute; one of the hired mourners at a funeral.
  • n. A member of one of the dark-colored races; a negro or other dark-skinned person.
  • n. One with the face blacked or disguised; specifically, a deer-stealer; a poacher.
  • n. A small flake of soot; smut: usually plural.
  • n. A dark stain or smear.
  • n. plural Ink used in copperplate printing, prepared from the charred husks of the grape and the residue of the wine-press.
  • n. In printing, any mark on the paper between the lines or letters caused by the rising of the leads, etc., to the level of the type: commonly in the plural.
  • n. In the fine arts, with no colors but black and white. The term is often extended to include (as in exhibitions of “works in black and white”) monochromes of any sort, as sepia drawings.
  • To make black; blacken or put a black color on; soil; stain: as, to black one's hands.
  • To clean and polish (shoes, etc.) by blacking and brushing them.
  • To blacken; stain; sully; defame.
  • To become black; take on a black color.
  • To poach. See black, n., 8.
  • Dark-complexioned.
  • n. In archery: The fourth and next to the outermost circle of the target, which is colored black. See target.
  • n. An arrow which hits this circle; a hit in the black. According to t he present method of scoring such a hit counts 3.
  • n. plural Black or coaly shale.
  • n. plural The larvæ of the black caterpillar (which see).
  • n. the oxidation of emeraldine to nigraniline
  • n. and the oxidation of the nigraniline to the so-called ‘un-greenable black’ which is the color desired. The color is always made as used, the formation of the black taking place within and upon the liber during the dyeing process. It is largely used in calico-printing and in hosiery-dyeing, and whenever an extra-fast black is desired. It is commonly applied to cotton, but processes have been devised by which it may be applied to cotton-and-wool union goods.
  • n. Any direct cotton black.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of or belonging to a racial group having dark skin especially of sub-Saharan African origin
  • adj. harshly ironic or sinister
  • adj. soiled with dirt or soot
  • n. total absence of light
  • n. British chemist who identified carbon dioxide and who formulated the concepts of specific heat and latent heat (1728-1799)
  • adj. (of the face) made black especially as with suffused blood
  • n. a person with dark skin who comes from Africa (or whose ancestors came from Africa)
  • adj. stemming from evil characteristics or forces; wicked or dishonorable
  • adj. distributed or sold illicitly
  • n. (board games) the darker pieces
  • adj. offering little or no hope
  • adj. extremely dark
  • adj. (of events) having extremely unfortunate or dire consequences; bringing ruin
  • v. make or become black
  • n. the quality or state of the achromatic color of least lightness (bearing the least resemblance to white)
  • n. popular child actress of the 1930's (born in 1928)
  • n. black clothing (worn as a sign of mourning)
  • adj. being of the achromatic color of maximum darkness; having little or no hue owing to absorption of almost all incident light
  • adj. (of intelligence operations) deliberately misleading
  • adj. (of coffee) without cream or sugar
  • adj. (used of conduct or character) deserving or bringing disgrace or shame
  • adj. marked by anger or resentment or hostility

Etymologies

Middle English blak, from Old English blæc.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English black, blak, from Old English blæc ("black, dark", also "ink"), from Proto-Germanic *blakaz, *blakkaz (“burnt”) (compare Dutch blaken 'to burn', Old High German blah 'black', Old Norse blakkr 'dark', blakra 'to blink'), from Proto-Indo-European *bhleg- (“to burn, shine”) (compare Latin flagare 'to shine', flagrare 'to burn', Ancient Greek φλόξ (phlox) 'flame', Albanian blozë ("soot"), Sanskrit bharga 'radiance'). More at bleach. (Wiktionary)

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