[black] adj [ME blak, fr. OE blaec; akin to OHG blah black, and prob. to L flagrare to burn, Gk phlegein] (bef. 12c) 1 a: of the color black b (1): very dark in color "his face was ~ with rage" (2): having a very deep or low register "a bass with a ~ voice" (3): heavy, serious "the play was a ~ intrigue"
2. a: having dark skin, hair, and eyes: swarthy "the ~ Irish" b (1) often cap: of or relating to any of various population groups having dark pigmentation of the skin "~ Americans" (2): of or relating to the Afro-American people or their culture "~ literature" "a ~ college" "~ pride" "~ studies" (3): typical or representative of the most readily attended parts of black culture "tried to play ~er jazz"
3: dressed in black
4: dirty, soiled "hands ~ with grime"
5. a: characterized by the absence of light "a ~ night" b: reflecting or transmitting little or no light "~ water" c: served without milk or cream "~ coffee"
6. a: thoroughly sinister or evil: wicked "a ~ deed" b: indicative of condemnation or discredit "got a ~ mark for being late" 7: connected with or invoking the supernatural and esp. the devil "~ magic"
8. a: very sad, gloomy, or calamitous "~ despair" b: marked by the occurrence of disaster "~ Friday" 9: characterized by hostility or angry discontent: sullen "~ resentment filled his heart"
10. chiefly Brit: subject to boycott by trade-union members as employing or favoring nonunion workers or as operating under conditions considered unfair by the trade union 11 a of propaganda: conducted so as to appear to originate within an enemy country and designed to weaken enemy morale b: characterized by or connected with the use of black propaganda "~ radio" 12: characterized by grim, distorted, or grotesque satire "~ humor" 13: of or relating to covert intelligence operations "~ government programs" -- black.ish adj -- black.ly adv -- black.ness n
black n (bef. 12c) 1: a black pigment or dye; esp: one consisting largely of carbon
2: the achromatic color of least lightness characteristically perceived to belong to objects that neither reflect nor transmit light
3: something that is black: as a: black clothing "looks good in ~" b: a black animal (as a horse)
4. a: a person belonging to any of various population groups having dark pigmentation of the skin b: afro-american
5: the pieces of a dark color in a board game for two players (as chess)
6: total or nearly total absence of light "the ~ of night" 7: the condition of making a profit--usu. used with the "operating in the ~"--compare red black vi (13c): to become black ~ vt 1: to make black
2. chiefly Brit: to declare (as a business or industry) subject to boycott by trade-union members