Meaning of BLACK in English


I. black 1 S1 W1 /blæk/ BrE AmE adjective ( comparative blacker , superlative blackest )

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: blæc ]

1 . COLOUR having the darkest colour, like coal or night:

a black evening dress

jet/inky black (=very dark)

jet black hair

2 . NO LIGHT very dark because there is no light:

It was still pitch black (=very dark) out.

3 . PEOPLE ( also Black )

a) belonging to the race of people who originally came from Africa and who have dark brown skin ⇨ white :

Over half the students are black.

b) [only before noun] relating to black people:

politics from a black perspective

Black and Asian music

4 . DRINK [only before noun] black coffee or tea does not have milk in it OPP white :

Black coffee, no sugar, please.

5 . DIRTY informal very dirty

be black with soot/dirt/age etc

6 . WITHOUT HOPE sad and without hope for the future:

the blackest period of European history

a mood of black despair

It’s been another black day for the car industry, with more job losses announced.

7 . HUMOUR making jokes about serious subjects, especially death:

a very black joke

8 . ANGRY [only before noun] full of feelings of anger or hate ⇨ blackly :

Denise gave me a black look.

9 . a black mark (against somebody) if there is a black mark against you, someone has a bad opinion of you because of something you have done

10 . not be as black as you are painted not to be as bad as people say you are

11 . BAD literary very bad:

black deeds

—blackness noun

II. black 2 BrE AmE noun

1 . [uncountable] the dark colour of coal or night:

You look good wearing black.

⇨ ↑ coal-black

2 . ( also Black ) [countable] someone who belongs to the race of people who originally came from Africa and who have dark brown skin ⇨ white :

laws that discriminated against blacks

3 . be in the black to have money in your bank account OPP be in the red

III. black 3 BrE AmE verb [transitive]

1 . British English if a ↑ trade union blacks goods or a company, it refuses to work with them:

The union has blacked all non-urgent work.

2 . old-fashioned to make something black

black out phrasal verb

1 . to become ↑ unconscious SYN faint , pass out :

For a few seconds, he thought he was going to black out.

2 . black something ↔ out to put a dark mark over something so that it cannot be seen:

The censors had blacked out several words.

3 . black something ↔ out to hide or turn off all the lights in a town or city, especially during war

⇨ blackout

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.