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-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; cuboid base for cutting or beheading.
- Anne Boleyn placed her head on the block and awaited her execution.
- A group of urban lots of property, several acres in extent, not crossed by public streets.
- I'm going for a walk around the block.
- A residential building consisting of flats.
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.
- a block of flats
- The distance from one street to another in a city that is built (approximately) to a grid pattern.
- The place you are looking for is two long blocks east and one short block north.
- Interference or obstruction of cognitive processes.
- a mental block
- writer's block
- (slang) The human head.
- I'll knock your block off!
- 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.
- He wears his faith but as the fashion of his hat; it ever changes with the next block.
- A set of sheets (of paper) joined together at one end.
- a block of 100 tickets
- (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.
- (rigging) A case with one or more sheaves/pulleys, used with ropes to increase or redirect force, for example, as part of the rigging of a sailing ship.
- (chemistry) A portion of a macromolecule, comprising many units, that has at least one feature not present in adjacent portions.
- Something that prevents something from passing (see blockage).
- There's a block in the pipe that means the water can't get through.
- (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.
- (volleyball) A defensive play by one or more players meant to deflect a spiked ball back to the hitter’s court.
- (philately) A joined group of four (or in some cases nine) postage stamps, forming a roughly square shape.
- 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.
- (Britain) Solitary confinement.
- A cellblock.
- (falconry) The perch on which a bird of prey is kept.
- (printing, dated) A piece of hard wood on which a stereotype or electrotype plate is mounted.
- (obsolete) A blockhead; a stupid fellow; a dolt.
- What a block art thou!
- (rail transport) A section of a railroad where the block system is used.
- (cricket) The position of a player or bat when guarding the wicket.
- (cricket) A blockhole.
- (cricket) The popping crease.
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
group of buildings demarcated by streets
residential building consisting of flats
distance from one street to another
mould on which headgear is shaped
computing: logical data storage unit
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
something that prevents passing
sports: action to interfere
cricket: shot played by vertical bat
volleyball: defensive play
philately: joined group of stamps, forming square
section of split log used as fuel
falconry: perch on which a bird of prey is kept
printing: piece of hardwood on which a plate is mounted
section of a railroad where the block system is used
cricket: position of a player or bat when guarding the wicket
- 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
block (third-person singular simple present blocks, present participle blocking, simple past and past participle blocked)
- (transitive) To fill (something) so that it is not possible to pass.
- The pipe is blocked.
- (transitive) To prevent (something or someone) from passing.
- You're blocking the road – I can't get through.
- (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.
- 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.
- 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 an undesirable someone.
- 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.
terms derived from block (verb)
to fill, making it impossible to pass
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
block (plural blocks)
- Misspelling of bloc.