From Middle English blok (“log, stump, solid piece”), from Old French bloc (“log, block”), from Middle Dutch blok (“treetrunk”), from Old Dutch *blok (“log”), from Proto-West Germanic *blokk, from Proto-Germanic *blukką (“beam, log”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰelǵ- (“thick plank, beam, pile, prop”). Cognate with Old Frisian blok, Old Saxon blok, Old High German bloh, bloc (“block”), Old English bolca (“gangway of a ship, plank”), Old Norse bǫlkr (“divider, partition”). More at balk. See also bloc.
block (plural blocks)
- A substantial, often approximately cuboid, piece of any substance.
- a block of ice, a block of stone
- A chopping block: a cuboid base for cutting or beheading.
- Anne Boleyn placed her head on the block and awaited her execution.
- A wig block: a simplified head model upon which wigs are worn.
- 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, chapter 13
- Next morning, Monday, after disposing of the embalmed head to a barber, for a block, I settled my own and comrade’s bill; using, however, my comrade’s money.
- A mould on which hats, bonnets, etc., are shaped.
1598–1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, “Much Adoe about Nothing”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i]:
He wears his faith but as the fashion of his hat; it ever changes with the next block.
- (printing, dated) A piece of hard wood on which a stereotype or electrotype plate is mounted.
- A case or frame housing one or more sheaves (pulleys), used with ropes to increase or redirect force, for example as part of lifting gear or a sailing ship's rigging. See also block and tackle.
- A section of split logs used as fuel.
- 1833, The Gospel Anchor (volume 2, page 371)
- She said, 'I hope I shall not be left to kill myself, but It would be no more sin to kill me, than to put a block on the fire.'
1803, Mary Tighe, Selena:
"Aye," said the farmer putting another block on the fire as he spoke […]
- 2012, Ron Herrett, Shorty's Story
- Dawn and Shorty would cut this tree into blocks, while Randy and Matt went back for more. Dawn and Shorty made a good team on the crosscut, so when another log arrived, the first was almost completely made into shake wood.
- A set of sheets (of paper) joined together at one end, forming a cuboid shape.
- a block of 100 tickets
- (falconry) The perch on which a bird of prey is kept.
- A physical area or extent of something, often rectangular or approximately rectangular.
- a block of text, a block of colour, a block of land
- (philately) A joined group of four (or in some cases nine) postage stamps, forming a roughly square shape.
- (viticulture) A discrete group of vines in a vineyard, often distinguished from others by variety, clone, canopy training method, irrigation infrastructure, or some combination thereof.
- A logical extent or region; a grouping or apportionment of like things treated together as a unit.
- a block of data, a block of seven days, a block reservation
- (computing) A logical data storage unit containing one or more physical sectors (see cluster).
- (programming) A region of code in a program that acts as a single unit, such as a function or loop.
- (cryptography) A fixed-length group of bits making up part of a message.
- (chemistry) A portion of a macromolecule, comprising many units, that has at least one feature not present in adjacent portions.
- (rail transport) A section of a railroad where the block system is used.
- A contiguous group of urban lots of property, typically several acres in extent, not crossed by public streets.
- I'm going for a walk around the block.
- The distance from one street to another in a city or suburb that is built (approximately) to a grid pattern.
- The place you are looking for is two long blocks east and one short block north.
1832, Records and Briefs of the United States Supreme Court, page 423:
The Witness: Well, I have one that is 8/10 of a mile away; I have one that is just about another 8/10 of a mile away; I have one that is three blocks away; I have one that is four blocks away; I have one that is eight blocks away, and I have one that is about 14 blocks away.
2009, Hape Kerkeling, I'm Off Then, page 241:
This uphill trail is like a battlefield. Anne offers to carry the older woman's backpack. […] I couldn't walk three blocks with the Danish woman's bulging backpack.
2017, Raymond E. Murphy, The Central Business District, page 37:
A county courthouse and a municipal building, located approximately a city block north of the district, were automatically excluded because they were separated from the main CBD by several blocks that did not reach either of the required index values.
- A large, roughly cuboid building.
- a block of flats, an office block, a tower block
- A cellblock.
1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess:
He turned back to the scene before him and the enormous new block of council dwellings. The design was some way after Corbusier but the block was built up on plinths and resembled an Atlantic liner swimming diagonally across the site.
- Something that prevents something from passing.
- Synonyms: barrier, blockage, obstruction
- There's a block in the pipe that means the water can't get through.
- Interference or obstruction of cognitive processes.
- a mental block
- writer's block
- (sports) An action to interfere with the movement of an opposing player or of the object of play (ball, puck).
2011 February 12, Oliver Brett, “Sunderland 1–2 Tottenham”, in BBC:
The match proved an unedifying spectacle until Spurs won a corner following their first move of real quality, John Mensah making an important block with Jermain Defoe poised to strike.
- (cricket) A shot played by holding the bat vertically in the path of the ball, so that it loses momentum and drops to the ground.
- (cricket) The position of a player or bat when guarding the wicket.
- (cricket) A blockhole.
- (cricket) The popping crease.
- (volleyball) A defensive play by one or more players meant to deflect a spiked ball back to the hitter’s court.
- Synonyms: stuff, roof, wall
- (slang) The human head.
- I'll knock your block off!
- (Britain) Solitary confinement.
- (obsolete) A blockhead; a stupid fellow; a dolt.
c. 1590–1591, William Shakespeare, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene v]:
What a block art thou!
Terms derived from block (noun)
- group of buildings
- cutting base
- prevent passage
- human head
substantial often approximately cuboid piece
chopping block; cuboid base for cutting or beheading
mould on which headgear is shaped
printing: piece of hardwood on which a plate is mounted
section of split log used as fuel
falconry: perch on which a bird of prey is kept
philately: joined group of stamps, forming square
computing: logical data storage unit
- Italian: blocco (it) m
- Japanese: please add this translation if you can
- Korean: please add this translation if you can
- Portuguese: bloco (pt) m
- Romanian: please add this translation if you can
- Russian: блок (ru) m (blok)
- Slovak: blok
- Spanish: please add this translation if you can
- Swedish: block (sv) n
- Thai: please add this translation if you can
computing: region of code that acts as single unit
cryptography: fixed-length group of bits making up part of a message
chemistry: portion of macromolecule
section of a railroad where the block system is used
group of buildings demarcated by streets
distance from one street to another
residential building consisting of flats
something that prevents passing
sports: action to interfere
cricket: shot played by vertical bat
cricket: position of a player or bat when guarding the wicket
volleyball: defensive play
- 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.
Translations to be checked
- Japanese: 塊 (ja) (かたまり, katamari), まな板 (まないた, manaita), 区画 (ja) (くかく, kukaku), 障害物 (しょうがいぶつ, shōgaibutsu), 断頭台 (だんとうだい, dantōdai), アパート (ja) (apāto)
block (third-person singular simple present blocks, present participle blocking, simple past and past participle blocked)
- (transitive) To fill or obstruct (something) so that it is not possible to pass.
- The pipe is blocked.
You're blocking the road – I can't get through!
2020 January 2, Philip Haigh, “Is there relief to congestion along Castlefield Corridor?”, in Rail, page 23: However, at Manchester the junctions and signals are so close that a train running more slowly over several junctions simply blocks those junctions for longer, preventing other trains moving.
- (transitive) To prevent (something or someone) from passing.
- A broken-down car is blocking the traffic.
- (transitive) To prevent (something from happening or someone from doing something).
- His plan to take over the business was blocked by the boss.
- (transitive, sports) To impede (an opponent or opponent's play).
- He blocked the basketball player's shot.
- The offensive linemen tried to block the blitz.
- (transitive, theater) To specify the positions and movements of the actors for (a section of a play).
- It was very difficult to block this scene convincingly.
- (transitive, cricket) To hit with a block.
- (intransitive, cricket) To play a block shot.
- (transitive) To disable communication via telephone, instant messaging, etc. with (someone undesirable).
- I tried to send you a message, but you've blocked me!
- (computing, intransitive) To wait.
- When the condition expression is false, the thread blocks on the condition variable.
- (transitive) To stretch or mould (a knitted item, a hat, etc.) into the desired shape.
- I blocked the mittens by wetting them and pinning them to a shaped piece of cardboard.
- (transitive) To shape or sketch out roughly.
- When drawing a scene, first block the main features, and then fill in the detail.
- (transitive, slang, obsolete) To knock (a person's hat) down over their eyes.
- Synonym: bonnet
terms derived from block (verb)
to fill, making it impossible to pass
- Hebrew: סתם (he) (satám)
- Italian: bloccare (it)
- Latin: obstruō
- Maori: tairi, puni, ārai, kati, pākati, tāiha
- Portuguese: entupir (pt)
- Russian: прегражда́ть (ru) impf (pregraždátʹ), прегради́ть (ru) pf (pregradítʹ), блоки́ровать (ru) impf or pf (blokírovatʹ), заблоки́ровать (ru) pf (zablokírovatʹ)
- Slovak: zablokovať, upchať
- Spanish: bloquear (es), atascar (es)
- Swedish: blockera (sv)
to prevent passing
- Kyrgyz: тос (ky) (tos)
- Lao: please add this translation if you can
- Latin: claudō, obstō (la)
- Latvian: bloķēt
- Manchu: ᡴᠠᠮᠪᡳ (kambi)
- Maori: ārai, tāiha (due to a slip or fallen trees)
- Norman: blotchi
- Polish: blokować (pl)
- Portuguese: bloquear (pt), impedir (pt), obstruir (pt)
- Russian: блоки́ровать (ru) (blokírovatʹ)
- Serbo-Croatian: blokirati (sh)
- Slovak: blokovať, zablokovať, upchať, zastaviť
- Spanish: bloquear (es), impedir (es), obstruir (es), atorar (es)
- Swedish: blockera (sv)
- Thai: please add this translation if you can
- Vietnamese: please add this translation if you can
to specify positions and movements of actors
cricket: to hit with a block
cricket: to play a block shot
to stretch or mould into the desired shape
- Misspelling of bloc.