from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A negative vote, especially one that blocks the admission of an applicant to an organization.
  • noun A small black ball used as a negative ballot.
  • transitive verb To vote against, especially to veto the admission of.
  • transitive verb To shut out from social or commercial participation; ostracize or boycott.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To reject (as a candidate for election to membership or office in any club, society, etc.) by placing black balls in the ballot-box; exclude or defeat by adverse vote; also, simply to vote against. See ballot, n., 3.
  • noun A blacking composition used by shoemakers, etc. Also called heel-ball.
  • noun A name applied to both the smut and the bunt of wheat.
  • noun An adverse vote. See blackball, v. t.
  • noun Same as black ash.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A composition for blacking shoes, boots, etc.; also, one for taking impressions of engraved work.
  • noun A ball of black color, esp. one used as a negative in voting; -- in this sense usually two words.
  • transitive verb To vote against, by putting a black ball into a ballot box; to reject or exclude, as by voting against with black balls; to ostracize.
  • transitive verb To blacken (leather, shoes, etc.) with blacking.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a rejection, a vote against admitting someone
  • noun a black ball used to indicate such a negative vote
  • noun the act of so rejecting someone
  • noun A kind of large black sweet; niggerball
  • verb transitive to vote against, especially in an exclusive organization
  • verb transitive to ostracize

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

  • noun the act of excluding someone by a negative vote or veto
  • verb expel from a community or group
  • verb vote against; refuse to endorse; refuse to assent


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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