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See also: Black and bläck

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EnglishEdit

 
Four black chess pieces.
 
A black woman.
 
A black man.
 
A cup of black coffee.
 
A black cat.

PronunciationEdit

  • enPR: blăk, IPA(key): /blæk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æk

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English blak, black, blake, from Old English blæc (black, dark", also "ink), from Proto-Germanic *blakaz (burnt) (compare Dutch blaken (to burn), Old High German blah (black), Old Norse blakra (to blink)), from Proto-Germanic *blakaz, possibly from Proto-Indo-European *bʰleg- (to burn, shine) (compare Latin flagrāre (to burn), Ancient Greek φλόξ (phlóx, flame), Sanskrit भर्ग (bharga, radiance)). More at bleach.

AdjectiveEdit

black (comparative blacker, superlative blackest)

  1. (of an object) Absorbing all light and reflecting none; dark and hueless.
  2. (of a place, etc) Without light.
  3. (sometimes capitalized) Of or relating to any of various ethnic groups having dark pigmentation of the skin.
    • 2012 November 7, Matt Bai, “Winning a Second Term, Obama Will Confront Familiar Headwinds”, in New York Times[1]:
      The country’s first black president, and its first president to reach adulthood after the Vietnam War and Watergate, Mr. Obama seemed like a digital-age leader who could at last dislodge the stalemate between those who clung to the government of the Great Society, on the one hand, and those who disdained the very idea of government, on the other.
  4. (chiefly historical) Designated for use by those ethnic groups which have dark pigmentation of the skin.
    black drinking fountain; black hospital
  5. (card games, of a card) Of the spades or clubs suits. Compare red (of the hearts or diamonds suit)
    I got two red queens, he got one of the black queens.
  6. Bad; evil; ill-omened.
    • 1655, Benjamin Needler, Expository notes, with practical observations; towards the opening of the five first chapters of the first book of Moses called Genesis. London: N. Webb and W. Grantham, page 168.
      ...what a black day would that be, when the Ordinances of Jesus Christ should as it were be excommunicated, and cast out of the Church of Christ.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
      Nor were there wanting some, who, after the departure of Jenny, insinuated that she was spirited away with a design too black to be mentioned, and who gave frequent hints that a legal inquiry ought to be made into the whole matter, and that some people should be forced to produce the girl.
  7. Expressing menace, or discontent; threatening; sullen.
    He shot her a black look.
  8. Illegitimate, illegal or disgraced.
    • 1866, The Contemporary Review, London: A. Strahan, page 338.
      Foodstuffs were rationed and, as in other countries in a similar situation, the black market was flourishing.
  9. (Ireland, informal) Overcrowded.
  10. (of coffee or tea) Without any cream, milk, or creamer.
    Jim drinks his coffee black, but Ellen prefers it with creamer.
  11. (board games, chess) Of or relating to the playing pieces of a board game deemed to belong to the "black" set (in chess the set used by the player who moves second) (often regardless of the pieces' actual colour).
    The black pieces in this chess set are made of dark blue glass.
  12. (typography) Said of a symbol or character that is solid, filled with color. Compare white (said of a character or symbol outline, not filled with color).
    Compare two Unicode symbols: = "WHITE RIGHT POINTING INDEX"; = BLACK RIGHT POINTING INDEX
  13. (politics) Related to the Christian Democratic Union of Germany.
    After the election, the parties united in a black-yellow alliance.
  14. Relating to an initiative whose existence or exact nature must remain withheld from the general public.
    5 percent of the Defense Department funding will go to black projects.
  15. (Ireland, now derogatory) Protestant, often with the implication of being militantly pro-British or anti-Catholic
    Originally "the Black North" meant west Ulster,[1] then Protestant east Ulster.[2] Compare also blackmouth ["Presbyterian"][3] and the Royal Black Institution.
    • 1914 May 27, "Review of The North Afire by W. Douglas Newton", The Sketch: A Journal of Art and Actuality, volume 86, page t:
      Now April's brother, once also holding a commission in that regiment, was an Ulster Volunteer, her father a staunch, black Protestant, her family tremulously "loyal" to the country whose Parliament was turning them out of its councils.
    • 1985 April, J. A. Weaver, "John Henry Biggart 1905-1979 — A portrait in respect and affection", Ulster Medical Journal, volume 54, number 1, page 1:
      He [Sir John Henry Biggart] was personally amused at having once been called "a black bastard".
    • 2007 September 6, Fintan O'Toole, "Diary", London Review of Books volume 29, number 17, page 35:
      He had been playing Gaelic football for Lisnaskea Emmets, his local team in County Fermanagh, against a team from nearby Brookeborough, when someone from the opposing team called him a ‘black cunt’. ‘Black’, in this case, was a reference not to the colour of his skin but to his religion. It is short for ‘Black Protestant’, a long-standing term of sectarian abuse.
  16. Used in the vernacular name of a species to indicate that it has one or more features that is black or dark, especially in comparison to another species with the same base name.
    black birch, black locust, black rhino

SynonymsEdit

AntonymsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

SynonymsEdit

AntonymsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

NounEdit

black (countable and uncountable, plural blacks)

  1. (countable and uncountable) The colour/color perceived in the absence of light, but also when no light is reflected, but rather absorbed.
    black colour:  
    • Shakespeare
      Black is the badge of hell, / The hue of dungeons, and the suit of night.
  2. (countable and uncountable) A black dye or pigment.
  3. (countable) A pen, pencil, crayon, etc., made of black pigment.
  4. (in the plural) Black cloth hung up at funerals.
    • 1625, Francis Bacon, "Of Death", Essays:
      Groans, and convulsions, and a discolored face, and friends weeping, and blacks, and obsequies, and the like, show death terrible.
  5. (sometimes capitalised, countable) A person of African, Aborigine, or Maori descent; a dark-skinned person.
    • 2004, Anthony Joseph Paul Cortese, Provocateur: Images of Women and Minorities in Advertising (page 108)
      Prize-winning books continue a trend toward increased representation of blacks, accounting for most of the books with exclusively black characters.
  6. (billiards, snooker, pool, with the, countable) The black ball.
  7. (baseball, countable) The edge of home plate
  8. (Britain, countable) A type of firecracker that is really more dark brown in colour.
  9. (informal, countable) Blackcurrant syrup (in mixed drinks, e.g. snakebite and black, cider and black).
  10. (in chess and similar games, countable) The person playing with the black set of pieces.
    At this point black makes a disastrous move.
  11. (countable) Part of a thing which is distinguished from the rest by being black.
    • Sir K. Digby
      the black or sight of the eye
  12. (obsolete, countable) A stain; a spot.
    • Rowley
      defiling her white lawn of chastity with ugly blacks of lust

SynonymsEdit

AntonymsEdit

  • (colour, dye, pen): white

TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

black (third-person singular simple present blacks, present participle blacking, simple past and past participle blacked)

  1. To make black, to blacken.
    • 1859, Oliver Optic, Poor and Proud; or, The Fortunes of Katy Redburn, a Story for Young Folks [2]
      "I don't want to fight; but you are a mean, dirty blackguard, or you wouldn't have treated a girl like that," replied Tommy, standing as stiff as a stake before the bully.
      "Say that again, and I'll black your eye for you."
    • 1911, Edna Ferber, Buttered Side Down [3]
      Ted, you can black your face, and dye your hair, and squint, and some fine day, sooner or later, somebody'll come along and blab the whole thing.
    • 1922, John Galsworthy, A Family Man: In Three Acts [4]
      I saw red, and instead of a cab I fetched that policeman. Of course father did black his eye.
  2. To apply blacking to something.
    • 1853, Harriet Beecher Stowe, The Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin [5]
      ...he must catch, curry, and saddle his own horse; he must black his own brogans (for he will not be able to buy boots).
    • 1861, George William Curtis, Trumps: A Novel [6]
      But in a moment he went to Greenidge's bedside, and said, shyly, in a low voice, "Shall I black your boots for you?"
    • 1911, Max Beerbohm, Zuleika Dobson [7]
      Loving you, I could conceive no life sweeter than hers — to be always near you; to black your boots, carry up your coals, scrub your doorstep; always to be working for you, hard and humbly and without thanks.
  3. (Britain) To boycott something or someone, usually as part of an industrial dispute.

SynonymsEdit

TranslationsEdit

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

See alsoEdit

Colors in English · colors, colours (layout · text)
     white      gray, grey      black      brown
             pink              red ; crimson              orange              yellow ; cream
             lime              green              mint              cyan ; teal
             azure, sky blue              blue              violet ; indigo              magenta ; purple

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ 1812, Edward Wakefield, An Account of Ireland, Statistical and Political Vol. 2 p. 737 "There is a district, comprehending Donegal, the interior of the county of Derry, and the western side of Tyrone, which is emphatically called by the people "the Black North," an expression not meant, as I conceive, to mark its greater exposure to the westerly winds, but rather its dreary aspect."
  2. ^ 1841 March 20 "Intelligence; Catholicity in Ulster" Catholic Herald (Bengal) Vol. 2 No. 1 p. 27 'Even in the "black North"—in " Protestant Ulster"—Catholicity is progessing at a rate that must strike terror into its enemies, and impart pride and hope to the professors of the faith of our sainted forefathers.'
    1886 Thomas Power O'Connor, The Parnell Movement: With a Sketch of Irish Parties from 1843 p. 520 "To the southern Nationalist the north was chiefly known as the home of the most rabid religious and political intolerance perhaps in the whole Christian world; it was designated by the comprehensive title of the 'Black North.'"
  3. ^ Baraniuk, Carol (2015). James Orr, Poet and Irish Radical. Routledge. p. 128. ISBN 9781317317470; Barkley, John Monteith (1959) A Short History of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland p.36

FrenchEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from English black.

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

black (plural blacks)

  1. relating to a black person or culture
    Synonym: noir

NounEdit

black m, f (plural blacks)

  1. black person
    Synonym: noir
    • 2015, Ilham Maad, Noir, pas black[8]:
      C’est qu’en France, les blancs n’existent pas et par contre la façon de parler des nonblancs existe et évolue avec le temps. Parce qu’effectivement, d’abord on était sur des termes purement et simplement racistes avec « bamboula, negro, nègre, bicot, bougnoule » et puis après ça a évolué et on est arrivé à « black, beur »… Donc je sais pas quand est-ce que ça a commencé exactement, moi je marque ça aux années 80, le hip hop, voilà, la black music…
      In France, there are no Whites, but names for non-Whites are constantly evolving. First we had terms that were purely and simply racist, like jigaboo, negro, nigger, coon, sambo... That evolved until we got to Black, Brownie... I'm not sure when that came in, but I guess it was the 1980s, with hip-hop and "Black music."

Middle EnglishEdit

AdjectiveEdit

black

  1. Alternative form of blak