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lacking hue and brightness; absorbing light without reflecting any of the rays composing it.
characterized by absence of light; enveloped in darkness:
a black night.
(sometimes initial capital letter)

pertaining or belonging to any of the various populations characterized by dark skin pigmentation, specifically the dark-skinned peoples of Africa, Oceania, and Australia.
African American.

soiled or stained with dirt:
That shirt was black within an hour.
gloomy; pessimistic; dismal:
a black outlook.
deliberately; harmful; inexcusable:
a black lie.
boding ill; sullen or hostile; threatening:
black words; black looks.
(of coffee or tea) without milk or cream.
without any moral quality or goodness; evil; wicked:
His black heart has concocted yet another black deed.
indicating censure, disgrace, or liability to punishment:
a black mark on one’s record.
marked by disaster or misfortune:
black areas of drought; Black Friday.
wearing black or dark clothing or armor:
the black prince.
based on the grotesque, morbid, or unpleasant aspects of life:
black comedy; black humor.
(of a check mark, flag, etc.) done or written in black to indicate, as on a list, that which is undesirable, substandard, potentially dangerous, etc.:
Pilots put a black flag next to the ten most dangerous airports.
illegal or underground:
The black economy pays no taxes.
showing a profit; not showing any losses:
the first black quarter in two years.
deliberately false or intentionally misleading:
black propaganda.
British. boycotted, as certain goods or products by a trade union.
(of steel) in the form in which it comes from the rolling mill or forge; unfinished.
the color at one extreme end of the scale of grays, opposite to white, absorbing all light incident upon it.
Compare white (def 19).
(sometimes initial capital letter)

a member of any of various dark-skinned peoples, especially those of Africa, Oceania, and Australia.
Often Offensive. African American.

black clothing, especially as a sign of mourning:
He wore black at the funeral.
Chess, Checkers. the dark-colored men or pieces or squares.
black pigment:
lamp black.
Slang. black beauty.
a horse or other animal that is entirely black.
to make black; put black on; blacken.
British. to boycott or ban.
to polish (shoes, boots, etc.) with blacking.
to become black; take on a black color; blacken.
(of coffee or tea) served without milk or cream.
black out,

to lose consciousness:
He blacked out at the sight of blood.
to erase, obliterate, or suppress:
News reports were blacked out.
to forget everything relating to a particular event, person, etc.:
When it came to his war experiences he blacked out completely.
Theater. to extinguish all of the stage lights.
to make or become inoperable:
to black out the radio broadcasts from the U.S.
Military. to obscure by concealing all light in defense against air raids.
Radio and Television. to impose a broadcast blackout on (an area).
to withdraw or cancel (a special fare, sale, discount, etc.) for a designated period:
The special air fare discount will be blacked out by the airlines over the holiday weekend.

black and white,

print or writing:
I want that agreement in black and white.
a monochromatic picture done with black and white only.
a chocolate soda containing vanilla ice cream.
Slang. a highly recognizable police car, used to patrol a community.

black or white, completely either one way or another, without any intermediate state.
in the black, operating at a profit or being out of debt (opposed to in the red):
New production methods put the company in the black.
Contemporary Examples

‘They Don’t Call It SEAL Team 6-Year-Old for Nothing’: Commandos Clash Over Tell-All Book Kimberly Dozier November 2, 2014
Hurricane Sandy Upends the Presidential Campaign Howard Kurtz October 27, 2012

Historical Examples

Nights in London Thomas Burke
The Seventh Man Max Brand
Vision House C. N. Williamson
The Great Riots of New York 1712 to 1873 J.T. Headley
In Wild Rose Time Amanda M. Douglas
Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1907 to 1908 Lucy Maud Montgomery
Gold in the Sky Alan Edward Nourse
Highways in Hiding George Oliver Smith

of the colour of jet or carbon black, having no hue due to the absorption of all or nearly all incident light Compare white (sense 1)
without light; completely dark
without hope or alleviation; gloomy: the future looked black
very dirty or soiled: black factory chimneys
angry or resentful: she gave him black looks
(of a play or other work) dealing with the unpleasant realities of life, esp in a pessimistic or macabre manner: black comedy
(of coffee or tea) without milk or cream
causing, resulting from, or showing great misfortune: black areas of unemployment

wicked or harmful: a black lie
(in combination): black-hearted

causing or deserving dishonour or censure: a black crime
(of the face) purple, as from suffocation
(Brit) (of goods, jobs, works, etc) being subject to boycott by trade unionists, esp in support of industrial action elsewhere
a black colour
a dye or pigment of or producing this colour
black clothing, worn esp as a sign of mourning
(chess, draughts)

a black or dark-coloured piece or square
(usually capital) the player playing with such pieces

complete darkness: the black of the night
a black ball in snooker, etc
(in roulette and other gambling games) one of two colours on which players may place even bets, the other being red
in the black, in credit or without debt
(archery) a black ring on a target, between the outer and the blue, scoring three points
another word for blacken
(transitive) to polish (shoes, etc) with blacking
(transitive) to bruise so as to make black: he blacked her eye
(transitive) (Brit & Austral, NZ) (of trade unionists) to organize a boycott of (specified goods, jobs, work, etc), esp in support of industrial action elsewhere
a member of a human population having dark pigmentation of the skin
of or relating to a Black person or Black people: a Black neighbourhood
Sir James (Whyte). 1924–2010, British biochemist. He discovered beta-blockers and drugs for peptic ulcers: Nobel prize for physiology or medicine 1988
Joseph. 1728–99, Scottish physician and chemist, noted for his pioneering work on carbon dioxide and heat

For years it has been a common practice to use red ink instead of black in showing a loss or deficit on corporate books, but not until the heavy losses of 1921 did the contrast in colors come to have a widely understood meaning. [“Saturday Evening Post,” July 22, 1922]

British pharmacologist who discovered the first beta-blocker, which led to the development of safer and more effective drugs to treat high blood pressure and heart disease. Black also developed a blocker for gastric acid production that revolutionized the treatment of stomach ulcers. He shared with Gertrude Elion and George Hitchings the 1988 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine.

To faint; lose consciousness: He slugged me with something and I blacked out (1930s+ fr Aviation)
To lose one’s memory of something: He totally blacked out that evening (1930s+)
To exclude an area from television coverage, esp of a sports event: The whole region was blacked out for the final game (1980s+)

Secret: The plans for the Stealth bomber were kept in the military’s black budget (1960s+)
Of coffee, without cream or milk

Obliterate with black, as in crossing out words on a page or print on a screen. For example, They have blacked out all the obscene words in the subtitles to make this movie suitable for youngsters. This usage may be derived from an earlier meaning, “to stain or defame,” which dates from the 15th century (and probably alludes to “blackening” a person’s reputation). [ Mid-1800s ]
Extinguish all lights. For example, The whole town was asleep, as blacked out as London during the war. In the early 1900s this expression alluded to the lights in a theater, but from about 1940 on it meant darkening an entire city to hide it from enemy bombers.
Lose consciousness, faint; also, experience a temporary loss of memory. For example, I couldn’t remember a single note of the music; I blacked out completely, or The accused man claims he blacked out after his first drink. This usage is thought to have originated with pilots, who sometimes fainted briefly when pulling out of a power dive. It soon was transferred to other losses of consciousness or memory. [ c. 1940 ]

black and blue
black and white
black as night
black book
black eye
Black Friday
black hole
black list
black look
black mark
black out
black sheep


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