Also called block. a platform from which an auctioneer sells:
the old courthouse where slaves were sold from the auction block.
put on the auction block, to offer for sale at auction; offer to sell to the highest bidder.
Also, put on the block.
a solid mass of wood, stone, etc., usually with one or more flat or approximately flat faces.
a hollow masonry building unit of cement, terra cotta, etc.:
a wall made of concrete blocks.
one of a set of cube-shaped pieces of wood, plastic, or the like, used as a child’s toy in building.
a mold or piece on which something is shaped or kept in shape:
a hat block.
a piece of wood used in the art of making woodcuts or wood engravings.
Printing. the base on which a plate is mounted to make it type-high.
a projection left on a squared stone to provide a means of lifting it.
a short length of plank serving as a bridging, as between joists.
a stump or wooden structure on which a condemned person is beheaded:
Mary Stuart went bravely to the block.
Machinery. a part enclosing one or more freely rotating, grooved pulleys, about which ropes or chains pass to form a hoisting or hauling tackle.
an obstacle, obstruction, or hindrance:
His stubbornness is a block to all my efforts.
the state or condition of being obstructed; blockage:
The traffic block lasted several hours.
Sports. a hindering of an opponent’s actions.
a quantity, portion, or section taken as a unit or dealt with at one time:
a large block of theater tickets.
a small section of a city, town, etc., enclosed by neighboring and intersecting streets:
She lives on my block.
the length of one side of such a section:
We walked two blocks over.
Chiefly British. a large building divided into separate apartments, offices, shops, etc.
a large number of bonds or shares of stock sold together as a single unit.
Railroads. any of the short lengths into which a track is divided for signaling purposes.
Philately. a group of four or more unseparated stamps, not in a strip.
Slang. a person’s head.
Glassmaking. a wooden or metal cup for blocking a gather.
an obstruction or stoppage in mental processes or speech, especially when related to stress, emotional conflict, etc.
(in Canada) a wild or remote area of land that has not yet been surveyed:
the Peace River block.
Falconry. a low perch to which a falcon is tethered outdoors.
verb (used with object)
to obstruct (someone or something) by placing obstacles in the way (sometimes followed by up):
to block one’s exit; to block up a passage.
to fit with blocks; mount on a block.
to shape or prepare on or with a block:
to block a hat; to block a sweater.
to join (the ends of boards or the like) by fastening to a block of wood.
Pathology, Physiology. to stop the passage of impulses in (a nerve).
Computers. to group (contiguous data) together so as to allow to be read or written in a single operation.
Sports. to hinder or bar the actions or movements of (an opposing player), especially legitimately.
Metalworking. to give (a forging) a rough form before finishing.
Electronics. to apply a high negative bias to the grid of (a vacuum tube), for reducing the plate current to zero.
verb (used without object)
to act so as to obstruct an opponent, as in football, hockey, and basketball:
He doesn’t get many baskets, but he sure can block.
Theater. to block a play, act, scene, stage, etc.:
The director will block tomorrow.
to suffer a block.
block in/out, to sketch or outline roughly or generally, without details:
She blocked out a color scheme for the interiors.
put / go on the block, to offer or be offered for sale at auction:
to put family heirlooms on the block.
a large solid piece of wood, stone, or other material with flat rectangular sides, as for use in building
any large solid piece of wood, stone, etc, usually having at least one face fairly flat
such a piece on which particular tasks may be done, as chopping, cutting, or beheading
Also called building block. one of a set of wooden or plastic cubes as a child’s toy
a form on which things are shaped or displayed: a wig block
(slang) a person’s head (esp in the phrase knock someone’s block off)
(Austral & NZ, slang) do one’s block, to become angry
a dull, unemotional, or hardhearted person
a large building of offices, flats, etc
(Austral & NZ) an area of land for a house, farm, etc
(Austral & NZ) a log, usually a willow, fastened to a timber base and used in a wood-chopping competition
an area of land, esp one to be divided for building or settling
See cylinder block
a casing housing one or more freely rotating pulleys See also block and tackle
(mainly US & Canadian) on the block, up for auction
the act of obstructing or condition of being obstructed, as in sports
an obstruction or hindrance
(psychol) a short interruption of perceptual or thought processes
obstruction of an opponent in a sport
an unseparated group of four or more postage stamps Compare strip1 (sense 3)
a pad of paper
(computing) a group of words treated as a unit of data on a tape, disk, etc
(athletics) short for starting block
(cricket) a mark made near the popping crease by a batsman to indicate his position in relation to the wicket
(informal) a chip off the old block, a person who resembles one of his or her parents in behaviour
verb (mainly transitive)
to shape or form (something) into a block
to fit with or mount on a block
to shape by use of a block: to block a hat
(often foll by up) to obstruct (a passage, channel, etc) or prevent or impede the motion or flow of (something or someone) by introducing an obstacle: to block the traffic, to block up a pipe
to impede, retard, or prevent (an action, procedure, etc)
to stamp (a title, design, etc) on (a book cover, etc) by means of a block (see sense 12), esp using gold leaf or other foil
(esp of a government or central bank) to limit the use or conversion of assets or currency
(also intransitive) (sport) to obstruct or impede movement by (an opponent)
(intransitive) to suffer a psychological block
to interrupt a physiological function, as by use of an anaesthetic
(also intransitive) (cricket) to play (a ball) defensively
“solid piece,” c.1300, from Old French bloc “log, block” of wood (13c.), via Middle Dutch bloc “trunk of a tree” or Old High German bloh, from a common Germanic source, from PIE *bhlugo-, from *bhelg- “a thick plank, beam” (see balk).
Meaning “mould for a hat” is from 1570s. Slang sense of “head” is from 1630s. Extended sense of “obstruction” is first recorded 1640s. In cricket from 1825; in U.S. football from 1912. The meaning in city block is 1796, from the notion of a “compact mass” of buildings; slang meaning “fashionable promenade” is 1869.
BLOCK. A term applied in America to a square mass of houses included between four streets. It is a very useful one. [Bartlett]
“obstruct,” 1590s, from French bloquer “to block, stop up,” from Old French bloc (see block (n.)). Meaning “to make smooth or to give shape on a block” is from 1620s. Stage and theater sense is from 1961. Sense in cricket is from 1772; in U.S. football from 1889. Related: Blocked; blocking.
v. blocked, block·ing, blocks
To arrest passage through; obstruct.block’age (blŏk’ĭj) n.
block and tackle
An arrangement of pulleys and ropes used to reduce the amount of force needed to move heavy loads. One pulley is attached to the load, and rope or chains connect this pulley to a fixed pulley. Each pulley may have multiple grooves or wheels for the rope to pass over numerous times. Pulling the rope or chain slowly draws the load-bearing pulley toward the fixed one with high mechanical advantage.
Stupid (1980s+ Students)
The head (1630s+)
gapers’ block, knock someone’s block off, new kid on the block
- Put daylight between
verb phrase To separate things, esp to separate oneself from someone or something disadvantageous: The President is trying hard to put daylight between himself and the National Rifle Association (1970s+)
[poo t-doun] /ˈpʊtˌdaʊn/ noun 1. a landing of an aircraft. 2. Informal. n. “insult, snub,” 1962, from verbal phrase put down “to snub,” attested from c.1400; see put (v.) + down (adv.). noun Something disparaging, humiliating, or deflating; a reducing insult; knock: since it is such a neat put-down of the arrogant administrator (late 1950s+)
- Put down for
verb phrase To identify or classify; recognize; peg: When I see a guy with a pull-over sweater under a double-breasted suit, I put him down for an Englishman (1950s+)
a city on the coast of Campania, on the north shore of a bay running north from the Bay of Naples, at which Paul landed on his way to Rome, from which it was distant 170 miles. Here he tarried for seven days (Acts 28:13, 14). This was the great emporium for the Alexandrian corn […]