Meaning of BLACK in English

I. ˈblak adjective

Etymology: Middle English blak, from Old English blæc; akin to Old High German blah black, and probably to Latin flagrare to burn, Greek phlegein

Date: before 12th century


a. : of the color black


(1) : very dark in color

his face was black with rage

(2) : having a very deep or low register

a bass with a black voice

(3) : heavy , serious

the play was a black intrigue


a. : having dark skin, hair, and eyes : swarthy

the black Irish


(1) often capitalized : of or relating to any of various population groups having dark pigmentation of the skin

black Americans

(2) : of or relating to the Afro-American people or their culture

black literature

a black college

black pride

black studies

(3) : typical or representative of the most readily perceived characteristics of black culture

trying to sound black

tried to play black er jazz

3. : dressed in black

4. : dirty , soiled

hands black with grime


a. : characterized by the absence of light

a black night

b. : reflecting or transmitting little or no light

black water

c. : served without milk or cream

black coffee


a. : thoroughly sinister or evil : wicked

a black deed

b. : indicative of condemnation or discredit

got a black mark for being late

7. : connected with or invoking the supernatural and especially the devil

black magic


a. : very sad, gloomy, or calamitous

black despair

b. : marked by the occurrence of disaster

black Friday

9. : characterized by hostility or angry discontent : sullen

black resentment filled his heart

10. chiefly British : subject to boycott by trade-union members as employing or favoring nonunion workers or as operating under conditions considered unfair by the trade union


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

black radio

12. : characterized by grim, distorted, or grotesque satire

black humor

13. : of or relating to covert intelligence operations

black government programs

• black·ish ˈbla-kish adjective

• black·ly adverb

• black·ness noun

II. noun

Date: before 12th century

1. : a black pigment or dye ; especially : 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 black

b. : a black animal (as a horse)


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 black of night

7. : the condition of making a profit — usually used with the

operating in the black

— compare red

III. verb

Date: 13th century

intransitive verb

: to become black

transitive verb

1. : to make black

2. chiefly British : to declare (as a business or industry) subject to boycott by trade-union members

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.