/ blɒk; NAmE blɑːk/ noun , verb
[ C ] a large piece of a solid material that is square in shape and usually has flat sides :
a block of ice / concrete / stone
a chopping block (= for cutting food on)
—see also breeze block , building block , cinder block
[ C ] ( BrE ) a tall building that contains flats or offices; buildings that form part of a school, hospital, etc. which are used for a particular purpose :
a tower block
a block of flats
an office block
the university's science block
➡ note at building
[ C ] a group of buildings with streets on all sides :
She took the dog for a walk around the block.
[ C ] ( NAmE ) the length of one side of a piece of land or group of buildings, from the place where one street crosses it to the next :
His apartment is three blocks away from the police station.
AREA OF LAND
[ C ] ( especially NAmE ) a large area of land
[ C ] ( AustralE ) an area of land for building a house on
[ C ] a quantity of sth or an amount of time that is considered as a single unit :
a block of shares
a block of text in a document
( BrE )
The theatre gives discounts for block bookings (= a large number of tickets bought at the same time) .
The three-hour class is divided into four blocks of 45 minutes each.
THAT STOPS PROGRESS
[ C , usually sing. ] something that makes movement or progress difficult or impossible
SYN obstacle :
Lack of training acts as a block to progress in a career.
—see also roadblock , stumbling block , writer's block
[ C ] a movement that stops another player from going forward
the blocks [ pl. ] = starting blocks
the block [ sing. ] (in the past) the piece of wood on which a person's head was cut off as a punishment
- go on the block
- have been around the block (a few times)
- put / lay your head / neck on the block
—more at chip noun , knock verb , new
■ verb [ vn ]
to stop sth from moving or flowing through a pipe, a passage, a road, etc. by putting sth in it or across it :
After today's heavy snow, many roads are still blocked.
a blocked sink
block the / sb's way, exit, view, etc. to stop sb from going somewhere or seeing sth by standing in front of them or in their way :
One of the guards moved to block her path.
An ugly new building blocked the view from the window.
to prevent sth from happening, developing or making progress :
The proposed merger has been blocked by the government.
to stop a ball, blow, etc. from reaching somewhere by moving in front of it :
His shot was blocked by the goalie.
- block sb/sth in
- block sth in
- block sth off
- block sth out
- block sth up
Middle English (denoting a log or tree stump): from Old French bloc (noun), bloquer (verb), from Middle Dutch blok , of unknown ultimate origin.