black ( blacker comparative) ( blackest superlative) ( blacks plural & 3rd person present) ( blacking present participle) ( blacked past tense & past participle )
1 colour Something that is black is of the darkest colour that there is, the colour of the sky at night when there is no light at all.
She was wearing a black coat with a white collar..., He had thick black hair..., I wear a lot of black..., He was dressed all in black.
2 adj A black person belongs to a race of people with dark skins, especially a race from Africa.
He worked for the rights of black people..., ...the traditions of the black community.
3 n-count Black people are sometimes referred to as blacks. This use could cause offence.
There are about thirty-one million blacks in the US.
4 adj Black coffee or tea has no milk or cream added to it.
ADJ n, v n ADJ
A cup of black tea or black coffee contains no calories..., I drink coffee black.
5 adj If you describe a situation as black, you are emphasizing that it is very bad indeed., (emphasis)
It was, he said later, one of the blackest days of his political career..., The future for the industry looks even blacker.
6 adj If someone is in a black mood, they feel very miserable and depressed.
Her mood was blacker than ever.
7 adj Black humour involves jokes about sad or difficult situations.
usu ADJ n
`So you can all go over there and get shot,' he said, with the sort of black humour common among British troops here..., It's a black comedy of racial prejudice, mistaken identity and thwarted expectations.
8 adj People who believe in black magic believe that it is possible to communicate with evil spirits.
He was also alleged to have conducted black magic ceremonies..., The King was unjustly accused of practising the black arts.
9 If you say that someone is black and blue, you mean that they are badly bruised.
be black and blue phrase usu PHR after v, v-link PHR
Whenever she refused, he'd beat her black and blue..., Bud's nose was still black and blue.
10 If a person or an organization is in the black, they do not owe anyone any money.
be in the black phrase v-link PHR, PHR after v (Antonym: in the red)
Until his finances are in the black I don't want to get married.
11 If someone gives you a black look, they look at you in a way that shows that they are very angry about something.
black look phrase N inflects, usu PHR after v
Passing my stall, she cast black looks at the amount of stuff still unsold. black out
1 phrasal verb If you black out, you lose consciousness for a short time.
Samadov said that he felt so ill that he blacked out. V P
2 phrasal verb If a place is blacked out, it is in darkness, usually because it has no electricity supply.
Large parts of the capital were blacked out after electricity pylons were blown up. be V-ed P
3 phrasal verb If a film or a piece of writing is blacked out, it is prevented from being broadcast or published, usually because it contains information which is secret or offensive.
TV pictures of the demonstration were blacked out. be V-ed P
4 phrasal verb If you black out a piece of writing, you colour over it in black so that it cannot be seen.
U.S. government specialists went through each page, blacking out any information a foreign intelligence expert could use... V P n (not pron), Also V n P
5 phrasal verb If you black out the memory of something, you try not to remember it because it upsets you.
(=blot out) I tried not to think about it. I blacked it out. V n P, Also V P n (not pron) →
Black Africa is the part of Africa to the south of the Sahara Desert. n-proper
black and white , black-and-white
1 colour In a black and white photograph or film, everything is shown in black, white, and grey.
...old black and white film footage..., The pictures were in black and white.
2 adj A black and white television set shows only black-and-white pictures.
usu ADJ n
3 adj A black and white issue or situation is one which involves issues which seem simple and therefore easy to make decisions about.
But this isn't a simple black and white affair, Marianne..., She saw things in black and white.
4 You say that something is in black and white when it has been written or printed, and not just said.
be in black and white phrase PHR after v, v-link PHR
He'd seen the proof in black and white...
black belt ( black belts plural )
1 n-count A black belt is worn by someone who has reached a very high standard in a sport such as judo or karate.
He holds a black belt in karate.
2 n-count You can refer to someone who has a black belt in judo or karate as a black belt.
Murray is a judo black belt.
black box ( black boxes plural )
1 n-count A black box is an electronic device in an aircraft which records information about its flights. Black boxes are often used to provide evidence about accidents.
2 n-count You can refer to a system or device as a black box when you know that it produces a particular result but you have no understanding of how it works.
They were part of the black box associated with high-flyer management development.
The black economy consists of the buying, selling, and producing of goods or services that goes on without the government being informed, so that people can avoid paying tax on them.
...an attempt to clamp down on the black economy.
black eye ( black eyes plural ) If someone has a black eye, they have a dark-coloured bruise around their eye. n-count usu sing
He punched her in the face at least once giving her a black eye.
black hole ( black holes plural ) Black holes are areas in space, where gravity is so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape from them. Black holes are thought to be formed by collapsed stars. n-count
Black ice is a thin, transparent layer of ice on a road or path that is very difficult to see. n-uncount
black mark ( black marks plural ) A black markagainst someone is something bad that they have done or a bad quality that they have which affects the way people think about them. n-count
There was one black mark against him.
black market ( black markets plural ) If something is bought or sold on theblack market, it is bought or sold illegally. n-count
There is a plentiful supply of arms on the black market.
black marketeer ( black marketeers plural ) A black marketeer is someone who sells goods on the black market. (JOURNALISM) n-count
Black pepper is pepper which is dark in colour and has been made from the dried berries of the pepper plant, including their black outer cases. n-uncount
black pudding ( black puddings plural ) Black pudding is a thick sausage which has a black skin and is made from pork fat and pig's blood.
(mainly BRIT) n-var
If you describe someone as theblack sheepof their family or of a group that they are a member of, you mean that they are considered bad or worthless by other people in that family or group. n-count usu sing, oft the N of n (disapproval)
black spot ( black spots plural ) , blackspot
1 n-count If you describe a place, time, or part of a situation as a black spot, you mean that it is particularly bad or likely to cause problems.
There are recognised black spots in marriages which can lead to trouble...
2 n-count A black spot is a place on a road where accidents often happen.
The accident happened on a notorious black spot on the A43.
black tie , black-tie
1 adj A black tie event is a formal social event such as a party at which people wear formal clothes called evening dress.
usu ADJ n
...a black-tie dinner for former students.
2 n-uncount If a man is dressed in black tie, he is wearing formal evening dress, which includes a dinner jacket or tuxedo and a bow tie.
Most of the guests will be wearing black tie.
Something that is blue-black is bluish black in colour. colour
jet black , jet-black
Something that is jet black is a very intense black. adj
If a place or the night is pitch-black, it is completely dark. adj
...a cold pitch-black winter morning.