black Meaning, Definition & Usage
noun the quality or state of the achromatic color of least lightness (bearing the least resemblance to white)
noun total absence of light
lightlessness; pitch blackness; blackness; total darkness.
- they fumbled around in total darkness
- in the black of night
noun British chemist who identified carbon dioxide and who formulated the concepts of specific heat and latent heat (1728-1799)
noun popular child actress of the 1930's (born in 1928)
Shirley Temple; Shirley Temple Black.
noun a person with dark skin who comes from Africa (or whose ancestors came from Africa)
Negroid; blackamoor; Negro; Black person.
noun (board games) the darker pieces
noun black clothing (worn as a sign of mourning)
- the widow wore black
verb make or become black
melanize; blacken; melanise; nigrify.
- The smoke blackened the ceiling
- The ceiling blackened
adjective being of the achromatic color of maximum darkness; having little or no hue owing to absorption of almost all incident light
- black leather jackets
- as black as coal
- rich black soil
adjective of or belonging to a racial group having dark skin especially of sub-Saharan African origin
- a great people--a black people--...injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization"- Martin Luther King Jr.
adjective satellite marked by anger or resentment or hostility
- black looks
- black words
adjective satellite offering little or no hope
- the future looked black
- prospects were bleak
- Life in the Aran Islands has always been bleak and difficult"- J.M.Synge
- took a dim view of things
adjective satellite stemming from evil characteristics or forces; wicked or dishonorable
- black deeds
- a black lie
- his black heart has concocted yet another black deed
- Darth Vader of the dark side
- a dark purpose
- dark undercurrents of ethnic hostility
- the scheme of some sinister intelligence bent on punishing him"-Thomas Hardy
adjective satellite (of events) having extremely unfortunate or dire consequences; bringing ruin
fatal; calamitous; disastrous; fateful.
- the stock market crashed on Black Friday
- a calamitous defeat
- the battle was a disastrous end to a disastrous campaign
- such doctrines, if true, would be absolutely fatal to my theory"- Charles Darwin
- it is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it"- Douglas MacArthur
- a fateful error
adjective satellite (of the face) made black especially as with suffused blood
- a face black with fury
adjective satellite extremely dark
- a black moonless night
- through the pitch-black woods
- it was pitch-dark in the cellar
adjective satellite harshly ironic or sinister
- black humor
- a grim joke
- grim laughter
- fun ranging from slapstick clowning ... to savage mordant wit
adjective satellite (of intelligence operations) deliberately misleading
- black propaganda
adjective satellite distributed or sold illicitly
contraband; black-market; bootleg; smuggled.
- the black economy pays no taxes
adjective satellite (used of conduct or character) deserving or bringing disgrace or shame
opprobrious; ignominious; shameful; inglorious; disgraceful.
- Man...has written one of his blackest records as a destroyer on the oceanic islands"- Rachel Carson
- an ignominious retreat
- inglorious defeat
- an opprobrious monument to human greed
- a shameful display of cowardice
adjective satellite (of coffee) without cream or sugar
adjective satellite soiled with dirt or soot
- with feet black from playing outdoors
- his shirt was black within an hour
Destitute of light, or incapable of reflecting it; of the color of soot or coal; of the darkest or a very dark color, the opposite of white; characterized by such a color; as, blackcloth; blackhair or eyes.
O night, with hue so black! Shak.
In a less literal sense: Enveloped or shrouded in darkness; very dark or gloomy; as, a blacknight; the heavens blackwith clouds.
I spy a black, suspicious, threatening cloud. Shak.
Fig.: Dismal, gloomy, or forbidding, like darkness; destitute of moral light or goodness; atrociously wicked; cruel; mournful; calamitous; horrible."This day's black fate." "Black villainy." "Arise, black vengeance." "Black day." "Black despair." Shak.
Expressing menace, or discontent; threatening; sullen; foreboding; as, to regard one with. blacklooks ✍ Black is often used in self-explaining compound words; as, black-eyed, black-faced, black-haired, black-visaged. Syn. -- Dark; murky; pitchy; inky; somber; dusky; gloomy; swart; Cimmerian; ebon; atrocious.
Sullenly; threateningly; maliciously; so as to produce blackness.
That which is destitute of light or whiteness; the darkest color, or rather a destitution of all color; as, a cloth has a good. black
Black is the badge of hell, The hue of dungeons, and the suit of night. Shak.
A black pigment or dye.
A negro; a person whose skin is of a black color, or shaded with black; esp. a member or descendant of certain African races.
A black garment or dress;; as, she wears black pl.(Obs.) Mourning garments of a black color; funereal drapery.
Friends weeping, and blacks, and obsequies, and the like show death terrible. Bacon.
That was the full time they used to wear blacks for the death of their fathers. Sir T. North.
The part of a thing which is distinguished from the rest by being black.
The black or sight of the eye. Sir K. Digby.
A stain; a spot; a smooch.
Defiling her white lawn of chastity with ugly blacks of lust. Rowley.
Black transitive verb
To make black; to blacken; to soil; to sully.
They have their teeth blacked, both men and women, for they say a dog hath his teeth white, therefore they will black theirs. Hakluyt.
Sins which black thy soul. J. Fletcher.
To make black and shining, as boots or a stove, by applying blacking and then polishing with a brush.
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