- adj., n., & v.
1 very dark, having no colour from the absorption of all or nearly all incident light (like coal or soot).
2 completely dark from the absence of a source of light (black night).
3 (Black) a of the human group having dark-coloured skin, esp. of African or Aboriginal descent. b of or relating to Black people (Black rights).
4 (of the sky, a cloud, etc.) dusky; heavily overcast.
5 angry, threatening (a black look).
6 implying disgrace or condemnation (in his black books).
7 wicked, sinister, deadly (black-hearted).
8 gloomy, depressed, sullen (a black mood).
9 portending trouble or difficulty (things looked black).
10 (of hands, clothes, etc.) dirty, soiled.
11 (of humour or its representation) with sinister or macabre, as well as comic, import (black comedy).
12 (of tea or coffee) without milk.
13 Brit. a (of industrial labour or its products) boycotted, esp. by a trade union, in an industrial dispute. b (of a person) doing work or handling goods that have been boycotted.
14 dark in colour as distinguished from a lighter variety (black bear; black pine).
1 a black colour or pigment.
2 black clothes or material (dressed in black).
3 a (in a game or sport) a black piece, ball, etc. b the player using such pieces.
4 the credit side of an account (in the black).
5 (Black) a member of a dark-skinned race, esp. a Negro or Aboriginal.
1 make black (blacked his face).
2 polish with blacking.
3 Brit. declare (goods etc.) 'black'.
Phrases and idioms:
Black Africa the area of Africa, generally south of the Sahara, where Blacks predominate. black and blue discoloured by bruises. Black and Tans an armed force recruited to fight Sinn Fein in Ireland in 1921, wearing a mixture of military and constabulary uniforms. black and white
1 recorded in writing or print (down in black and white).
2 (of film etc.) not in colour.
3 consisting of extremes only, oversimplified (interpreted the problem in black and white terms). the black art = black magic. black beetle the common cockroach, Blatta orientalis.
1 a black belt worn by an expert in judo, karate, etc.
2 a person qualified to wear this. black body Physics a hypothetical perfect absorber and radiator of energy, with no reflecting power.
1 a flight-recorder in an aircraft.
2 any complex piece of equipment, usu. a unit in an electronic system, with contents which are mysterious to the user. black bread a coarse dark-coloured type of rye bread. black bryony a rooted climber, Tamus communis, with clusters of red berries. Black Country (usu. prec. by the) a district of the Midlands with heavy industry. black damp = choke-damp. Black Death (usu. prec. by the) a widespread epidemic of bubonic plague in Europe in the 14th c. black diamond (in pl.) coal. black disc a long-playing gramophone record, as distinct from a compact disc. black earth = CHERNOZEM. black economy unofficial economic activity. Black English the form of English spoken by many Blacks, esp. as an urban dialect of the US. black eye bruised skin around the eye resulting from a blow. black-eyed (or black-eye) bean a variety of bean, Vigna sinensis, with seeds often dried and stored prior to eating (so called from its black hilum). black-eyed Susan any of several flowers, esp. of the genus Rudbeckia, with yellow-coloured petals and a dark centre.
1 a variety of sheep with a black face.
2 the make-up used by a non-Black performer playing a Negro role. black flag see FLAG(1). black forest gateau a chocolate sponge with layers of morello cherries or cherry jam and whipped cream and topped with chocolate icing, orig. from S. Germany. Black Friar a Dominican friar. black frost see FROST. black game (or grouse) a European grouse, Lyrurus tetrix.
1 a region of space possessing a strong gravitational field from which matter and radiation cannot escape: also called COLLAPSAR.
2 a place of confinement for punishment, esp. in the armed services. black ice thin hard transparent ice, esp. on a road surface. black in the face livid with strangulation, exertion, or passion. black lead graphite. black leopard = PANTHER. black letter an old heavy style of type. black light Physics the invisible ultraviolet or infrared radiations of the electromagnetic spectrum. black magic magic involving supposed invocation of evil spirits. Black Maria sl. a police vehicle for transporting prisoners. black mark a mark of discredit. black market an illicit traffic in officially controlled or scarce commodities. black marketeer a person who engages in a black market. Black Mass a travesty of the Roman Catholic Mass in worship of Satan. Black Monk a Benedictine monk. Black Muslim US a member of an exclusively Black Islamic sect proposing a separate Black community. Black Nationalism advocacy of the national civil rights of US (and occas. other) Blacks. black nightshade see NIGHTSHADE.
1 a effect a blackout on. b undergo a blackout.
2 obscure windows etc. or extinguish all lights for protection esp. against an air attack. Black Panther US one of a group of extremist fighters for Blacks' rights. black pepper pepper made by grinding the whole dried berry, including the husk, of the pepper plant. Black Power a movement in support of rights and political power for Blacks. black pudding a black sausage containing pork, dried pig's blood, suet, etc. Black Rod Brit. the principal usher of the Lord Chamberlain's department, House of Lords, etc. black sheep colloq. an unsatisfactory member of a family, group, etc.; a scoundrel. black spot a place of danger or difficulty, esp. on a road (an accident black spot).
1 something extremely rare.
2 an Australian swan, Cygnus atratus, with black plumage. black tea tea that is fully fermented before drying.
1 a black bow-tie worn with a dinner jacket.
2 colloq. formal evening dress. black tracker Austral. an Aboriginal employed to help find persons lost or hiding in the bush. black velvet a drink of stout and champagne. Black Watch (usu. prec. by the) the Royal Highland Regiment (so called from its dark tartan uniform). black-water fever a complication of malaria, in which blood cells are rapidly destroyed, resulting in dark urine. black widow a venomous spider, Latrodectus mactans, of which the female devours the male.
blackish adj. blackly adv. blackness n.
Etymology: OE blaeligc
Useful english dictionary. 2012.