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black

Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist fears this is true.
James Branch Cabell
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English

Pronunciation

Etymology

From Middle English blak, from Old English blæc. Cognates include blaze', bleach, blond, bald, bale, pale, Latin flagare, to shine, Latin blancus, white, Gothic 𐌱𐌰𐌻𐌰 (bala), paleness, German erbleichen, bleich, go -, turn pale, German bleichen, bleach and Russian белый, white.

Adjective

black (comparative er, superlative {{{2}}})

Positive
black

Comparative
er

Superlative
{{{2}}}

  1. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) absorbing all light and reflecting none; dark and colourless.
  2. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) without light.
  3. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) Relating to persons of African descent or (especially in the US) their culture.
  4. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) Overcrowded.
  5. Bad; evil.
    • 1655, Benjamin Needler, Expository notes, with practical observations; towards the opening of the five first chapters of the first book of Moses called Genesis. London: N. Webb and W. Grantham, page 168.
      ...what a black day would that be, when the Ordinances of Jesus Christ should as it were be excommunicated, and cast out of the Church of Christ.
  6. Illegitimate, illegal or disgraced.
    • 1866, The Contemporary Review, London: A. Strahan, page 338.
      Foodstuffs were rationed and, as in other countries in a similar situation, the black market was flourishing.

Synonyms

Antonyms

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Noun

Singular
black

Plural
{{{1}}}

black ({{{1}}})
  1. (color) The colour/color perceived in the absence of light.
    black colour:   
  2. A black dye, pigment.
  3. A pen, pencil, crayon, etc., made of black pigment.
  4. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) A person of African descent.
  5. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) the black: The black ball.
  6. (baseball) The edge of home plate

Synonyms

Antonyms

  • (colour, dye, pen) white

Translations

Verb

Infinitive
to black

Third person singular
-

Simple past
-

Past participle
-

Present participle
-

to black (third-person singular simple present -, present participle -, simple past and past participle -)
  1. To make black, to blacken.
    • 1859: Oliver Optic, Poor and Proud; or, The Fortunes of Katy Redburn, a Story for Young Folks [1]
      "I don't want to fight; but you are a mean, dirty blackguard, or you wouldn't have treated a girl like that," replied Tommy, standing as stiff as a stake before the bully.
      "Say that again, and I'll black your eye for you."
    • 1911: Edna Ferber, Buttered Side Down [2]
      Ted, you can black your face, and dye your hair, and squint, and some fine day, sooner or later, somebody'll come along and blab the whole thing.
    • 1922: John Galsworthy, A Family Man: In Three Acts [3]
      I saw red, and instead of a cab I fetched that policeman. Of course father did black his eye.
  2. To apply blacking to something.
    • 1853: Harriet Beecher Stowe, The Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin [4]
      ...he must catch, curry, and saddle his own horse; he must black his own brogans (for he will not be able to buy boots).
    • 1861: George William Curtis, Trumps: A Novel [5]
      But in a moment he went to Greenidge's bedside, and said, shyly, in a low voice, "Shall I black your boots for you?"
    • 1911: Max Beerbohm, Zuleika Dobson [6]
      Loving you, I could conceive no life sweeter than hers -- to be always near you; to black your boots, carry up your coals, scrub your doorstep; always to be working for you, hard and humbly and without thanks.
  3. (UK) To boycott something or someone, usually as part of an industrial dispute.

Synonyms

Translations

Derived terms

Related terms

See also

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