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:
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