What does BLACK mean?

Definitions for BLACK

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word BLACK.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. black, blackness, inkinessnoun

    the quality or state of the achromatic color of least lightness (bearing the least resemblance to white)

  2. total darkness, lightlessness, blackness, pitch blackness, blacknoun

    total absence of light

    "they fumbled around in total darkness"; "in the black of night"

  3. Black, Joseph Blacknoun

    British chemist who identified carbon dioxide and who formulated the concepts of specific heat and latent heat (1728-1799)

  4. Black, Shirley Temple Black, Shirley Templenoun

    popular child actress of the 1930's (born in 1928)

  5. Black, Black person, blackamoor, Negro, Negroidnoun

    a person with dark skin who comes from Africa (or whose ancestors came from Africa)

  6. blacknoun

    (board games) the darker pieces

  7. blackadjective

    black clothing (worn as a sign of mourning)

    "the widow wore black"

  8. blackadjective

    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"

  9. blackadjective

    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.

  10. blackadjective

    marked by anger or resentment or hostility

    "black looks"; "black words"

  11. black, bleak, dimadjective

    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"

  12. black, dark, sinisteradjective

    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

  13. black, calamitous, disastrous, fatal, fatefuladjective

    (of events) having extremely unfortunate or dire consequences; bringing ruin

    "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"

  14. black, blackenedadjective

    (of the face) made black especially as with suffused blood

    "a face black with fury"

  15. black, pitch-black, pitch-darkadjective

    extremely dark

    "a black moonless night"; "through the pitch-black woods"; "it was pitch-dark in the cellar"

  16. black, grim, mordantadjective

    harshly ironic or sinister

    "black humor"; "a grim joke"; "grim laughter"; "fun ranging from slapstick clowning ... to savage mordant wit"

  17. blackadjective

    (of intelligence operations) deliberately misleading

    "black propaganda"

  18. bootleg, black, black-market, contraband, smuggledadjective

    distributed or sold illicitly

    "the black economy pays no taxes"

  19. black, disgraceful, ignominious, inglorious, opprobrious, shamefuladjective

    (used of conduct or character) deserving or bringing disgrace or shame

    "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"

  20. blackadjective

    (of coffee) without cream or sugar

  21. black, smuttyverb

    soiled with dirt or soot

    "with feet black from playing outdoors"; "his shirt was black within an hour"

  22. blacken, melanize, melanise, nigrify, blackverb

    make or become black

    "The smoke blackened the ceiling"; "The ceiling blackened"


  1. blacknoun

    The colour/color perceived in the absence of light.

  2. blacknoun

    A black dye, pigment.

  3. blacknoun

    A pen, pencil, crayon, etc., made of black pigment.

  4. blacknoun

    Black cloth hung up at funerals.

  5. blacknoun

    A person of African descent, Aborigine or Maori.

  6. blacknoun

    The black ball.

  7. blacknoun

    The edge of home plate

  8. blacknoun

    a type of firecracker that is really more dark brown in colour.

  9. blacknoun

    blackcurrant syrup (in mixed drinks, e.g. snakebite and black, cider and black).

  10. blackverb

    To make black, to blacken.

  11. blackverb

    To apply blacking to something.

  12. blackverb

    To boycott something or someone, usually as part of an industrial dispute.

  13. blacknoun

    In chess and similar games, the person playing with the black set of pieces.

    At this point black makes a disastrous move.

  14. blackadjective

    absorbing all light and reflecting none; dark and colourless.

  15. blackadjective

    without light.

  16. blackadjective

    Relating to persons of (usually noticeable) negroid African descent or their culture. Also people of Aborigine or Maori descent.

  17. blackadjective

    Bad; evil; ill-omened.

  18. blackadjective

    Illegitimate, illegal or disgraced.

  19. blackadjective


  20. blackadjective

    Without any cream, milk or creamer.

    Jim drinks his coffee black, but Ellen prefers it with creamer.

  21. blackadjective

    The standard denomination of the playing pieces of a board game deemed to belong to the "black" set, no matter what the actual colour.

    The black pieces in this set are in fact made of dark blue glass.

  22. blackadjective

    Related to the Christian Democratic Union.

    After the election, the parties united in a black-yellow alliance.

  23. Etymology: From blak. Also a variant of Blake, from blac and Blanc, from blanc.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. BLACKadjective

    Etymology: blac, Saxon.

    In the twilight in the evening, in the black and dark night. Prov. vii. 9.

    By Aristotle it seems to be implied, in these problems which enquire why the sun makes man black, and not the fire, why it whitens wax, yet blacks the skin. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours.

    The heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. 1 Kings, xviii. 45.

    She hath abated me of half my train;
    Look’d black upon me. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    Either my country never must be freed,
    Or I consenting to so black a deed. John Dryden, Indian Emp.

    A dire induction am I witness to;
    And will to France, hoping, the consequence,
    Will prove as bitter, black, and tragical. William Shakespeare, Rich. III.

    Mistress Ford, good heart, is beaten black and blue, that you cannot see a white spot about her. Merry Wives of Windsor.

    And, wing’d with speed and fury, flew
    To rescue knight from black and blue. Hudibras, cant. ii.

  2. Blacknoun

    Etymology: from the adjective.

    Black is the badge of hell,
    The hue of dungeons, and the scowl of night. William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour Lost.

    For the production of black, the corpuscles must be less than any of those which exhibit colours. Isaac Newton, Opticks.

    Rise, wretched widow, rise; nor, undeplor’d,
    Permit my ghost to pass the Stygian ford:
    But rise, prepar’d in black, to mourn thy perish’d lord. John Dryden, Fables.

    It suffices that it be in every part of the air, which is as big as the black or sight of the eye. Digby.

  3. To Blackverb

    To make black; to blacken.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Blacking over the paper with ink, not only the ink would be quickly dried up, but the paper, that I could not burn before, would be quickly set on fire. Robert Boyle, on Colours.

    Then in his fury black’d the raven o’er,
    And bid him prate in his white plumes no more. Joseph Addison, Ovid’s Metamorph. b. ii.


  1. Black

    Black is a color which results from the absence or complete absorption of visible light. It is an achromatic color, without hue, like white and gray. It is often used symbolically or figuratively to represent darkness. Black and white have often been used to describe opposites such as good and evil, the Dark Ages versus Age of Enlightenment, and night versus day. Since the Middle Ages, black has been the symbolic color of solemnity and authority, and for this reason is still commonly worn by judges and magistrates.Black was one of the first colors used by artists in neolithic cave paintings. It was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as the color of the underworld. In the Roman Empire, it became the color of mourning, and over the centuries it was frequently associated with death, evil, witches and magic. In the 14th century, it was worn by royalty, clergy, judges and government officials in much of Europe. It became the color worn by English romantic poets, businessmen and statesmen in the 19th century, and a high fashion color in the 20th century. According to surveys in Europe and North America, it is the color most commonly associated with mourning, the end, secrets, magic, force, violence, evil, and elegance.Black ink is the most common color used for printing books, newspapers and documents, as it provides the highest contrast with white paper and thus is the easiest color to read. Similarly, black text on a white screen is the most common format used on computer screens. As of September 2019, the darkest material is made by MIT engineers from vertically aligned carbon nanotubes.


  1. black

    Black is a color that is often associated with the absence or complete absorption of light. It is typically perceived as the darkest shade, resulting from the absence or lack of reflection of all or almost all visible light. In a broader context, black can also refer to something that is dark or shadowy in nature. Additionally, it can represent a lack of color or a primary color when discussing pigments.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Blackadjective

    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, black cloth; black hair or eyes

  2. Blackadjective

    in a less literal sense: Enveloped or shrouded in darkness; very dark or gloomy; as, a black night; the heavens black with clouds

  3. Blackadjective

    fig.: Dismal, gloomy, or forbidding, like darkness; destitute of moral light or goodness; atrociously wicked; cruel; mournful; calamitous; horrible

  4. Blackadjective

    expressing menace, or discontent; threatening; sullen; foreboding; as, to regard one with black looks

  5. Blackadverb

    sullenly; threateningly; maliciously; so as to produce blackness

  6. Blacknoun

    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

  7. Blacknoun

    a black pigment or dye

  8. Blacknoun

    a negro; a person whose skin is of a black color, or shaded with black; esp. a member or descendant of certain African races

  9. Blacknoun

    a black garment or dress; as, she wears black

  10. Blacknoun

    mourning garments of a black color; funereal drapery

  11. Blacknoun

    the part of a thing which is distinguished from the rest by being black

  12. Blacknoun

    a stain; a spot; a smooch

  13. Blackadjective

    to make black; to blacken; to soil; to sully

  14. Blackadjective

    to make black and shining, as boots or a stove, by applying blacking and then polishing with a brush


  1. Black

    Black is the color of coal, ebony, and of outer space. It is the darkest color, the result of the absence of or complete absorption of light. It is the opposite of white and often represents darkness in contrast with light. Black was one of the first colors used by artists in neolithic cave paintings. In the Roman Empire, it became the color of mourning, and over the centuries it was frequently associated with death, evil, witches and magic. In the 14th century, it began to be worn by royalty, the clergy, judges and government officials in much of Europe. It became the color worn by English romantic poets, businessmen and statesmen in the 19th century, and a high fashion color in the 20th century. In the Western World today, it is the color most commonly associated with mourning, the end, secrets, magic, power, violence, evil, and elegance.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Black

    blak, adj. of the darkest colour: without colour: obscure: dismal: sullen: horrible: dusky: foul, dirty: malignant: dark-haired, wearing dark armour or clothes.—n. black colour: absence of colour: a negro: mourning: the dark smut which attacks wheat: a speck of black on the face, a sooty particle in the air: black clothes, esp. dress trousers.—v.t. to make black: to soil or stain: to draw in black.—n. Black′amoor, a black Moor: a negro.—adjs. Black′-and-tan, having black hair on the back, and tan or yellowish-brown elsewhere, esp. of a terrier; Black′-a-vised, of dark complexion (probably originally black-à-vis).—v.t. Black′ball, to reject in voting by putting a black ball into a ballot-box.—ns. Black′balling, the act of so rejecting a candidate; Black′-band, iron ore containing enough of coal to calcine it; Black′-bee′tle, a cockroach; Black′berry, the berry of the bramble; Black′bird, a species of thrush of a black colour: a current name for a negro or Polynesian kidnapped for labour; Black′birding, the kidnapping of such; Black′board, a board painted black, used in schools for writing, forming figures, &c.—adjs. Black′-bod′ing, of evil omen; Black′-browed, having black eyebrows: sullen.—ns. Black′-cap, a bird, a species of warbler, so called from its black crown: (cook.) an apple roasted until it is black, and served up in a custard: the full-dress cap put on by English judges when about to pronounce sentence of death; Black′-catt′le, oxen, bulls, and cows; Black′-chalk, a variety of clay-slate of a bluish-black colour, used for drawing, and also for making black paint; Black′cock, a species of grouse, common in the north of England and in Scotland; Black′-curr′ant, a garden shrub with black fruit used in making preserves; Black′-death, a name given to the plague of the 14th century from the black spots which appeared on the skin; Black′-draught, the popular name for a purgative medicine consisting chiefly of senna and Epsom salts; Black′-drop, a liquid preparation of opium, vinegar, and sugar.—v.t. Black′en, to make black: to defame.—adj. Black′faced, having a black face: dismal.—ns. Black′-flag, the flag of a pirate, or that hoisted at the execution of a criminal—from its colour; Black′-friar, a friar of the Dominican order, so called from his black mantle (over a white woollen habit): (pl.) the region in a city, as London, where their convent stood; Blackguard (blag′ärd), originally applied to the lowest menials about a court, who took charge of the pots, kettles, &c.: a low, ill-conducted fellow.—adj. low: scurrilous.—v.t. to treat as a blackguard; v.i. to play the blackguard.—n. Black′guardism.—adv. Black′guardly.—ns. Black′-heart′edness; Black′-hole, formerly the name for the punishment-cell in a barrack: the memorable black-hole in the Fort-William barracks at Calcutta, into which, in in 1756, as many as 146 Europeans were thrust over night, of whom only 23 were found surviving in the morning; Black′ing, a substance used for blacking leather, &c.—adj. Black′ish.—ns. Black′-jack, a vessel for holding drink, originally made of leather: (naut.) the flag of a pirate; Black′-lead, a black mineral (plumbago, not lead) used in making pencils, blacking grates, &c.; Black′leg, a low, gambling fellow: a turf-swindler: a term applied by strikers to men willing to work for the wages against which themselves have struck—also Black′-neb; Black′-let′ter, the old English (also called Gothic) letter Black′-list, a list of defaulters; Black′-Marī′a, the closely covered, usually black-painted van in which prisoners are conveyed between the court and the prison; Black′-Mon′day, Easter Monday, so called on account of the sufferings experienced by the army of Edward III. from the severity of the weather on that day in 1360; Black′-monk, a monk of the order of St Benedict, from his garments; Black′ness; Black′-pudd′ing, a blood-pudding (q.v.).; Black′-rod, the usher of the chapter of the Garter and of the House of Lords, so called from the black wand tipped with a golden lion which he carries; Black′-sheep, a disreputable member of a family or group; Black′smith, a smith who works in iron, as opposed to a Whitesmith, or one who works in tin; Black′thorn, a species of dark-coloured thorn: the sloe: a stick made from its stem.—adjs. Black′-tressed, having black tresses; Black-visaged (blak′-viz′ājd), having a black visage or appearance.—n. Black′-wash, a lotion of calomel and lime-water: anything that blackens.—Black and blue, with the livid colour of a bruise in the flesh; Black book, an official book bound in black, a book recording the names of persons deserving punishment; Black eye, an eye of which the iris is dark—a point of beauty: a discoloration around the eye due to a blow or fall; Black fellow, a native in Australia.—In black and white, in writing or in print: in art, in no colours but black and white.—To be black in the face, to have the face purple through strangulation, passion, or effort; To be in any one's black books, to have incurred any one's displeasure; To black out, to obliterate with black. [A.S. blac, blæc, black.]

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. black

    In intelligence handling, a term used in certain phrases (e.g., living black, black border crossing) to indicate reliance on illegal concealment rather than on cover.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. black

    In blazonry, sable denotes constancy, wisdom, and prudence.

Editors Contribution

  1. blackverb

    The Bachelor degree color Letter of Law bills of lading signalers name for the letters coming together.

    Black is a color of action being denoted, it is not originally a group of people.

    Etymology: Clear

    Submitted by Tehorah_Elyon on October 8, 2023  

  2. blacknoun

    Bachelor letters of law booking banks with alternating current conditions purely in the air. 1.) of the very darkest color; the opposite of white; colored like coal, due to the absence of or complete absorption of light: of the sky or night completely dark due to non visibility of the sun, moon, or stars, normally because of the dense cloud cover.

    The Black Lord Mansa Musa is the only King that gave all his riches to the poor and walked with Christ in the history books.

    Etymology: Clear

    Submitted by Tehorah_Elyon on April 15, 2024  

Suggested Resources

  1. black

    Song lyrics by black -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by black on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. BLACK

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Black is ranked #174 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Black surname appeared 154,738 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 52 would have the surname Black.

    74.6% or 115,481 total occurrences were White.
    19% or 29,400 total occurrences were Black.
    2.3% or 3,605 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    2% or 3,219 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    1.4% or 2,228 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    0.5% or 820 total occurrences were Asian.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'BLACK' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #406

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'BLACK' in Written Corpus Frequency: #586

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'BLACK' in Nouns Frequency: #1498

  4. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'BLACK' in Adjectives Frequency: #40

How to pronounce BLACK?

How to say BLACK in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of BLACK in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of BLACK in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of BLACK in a Sentence

  1. William S. Burroughs:

    Writing prejudicial, off-putting reviews is a precise exercise in applied black magic. The reviewer can draw free-floating disagreeable associations to a book by implying that the book is completely unimportant without saying exactly why, and carefully avoiding any clear images that could capture the reader's full attention.

  2. Tony Lepore:

    Black Lives Matter is an organization that has some individuals – some individuals – that advocate harm to police officers, since we picketed and got a written apology from the Dunkin’ Donuts’ owner. . . . we haven’t had one incident in Rhode Island.

  3. President Barack Obama:

    You had two Cuban-Americans in the Republican Party running against the legacy of a black man who was president while arguing that they're the best person to beat the Democratic nominee who will either be a woman or a democratic socialist, who would have believed that in 1959.

  4. Michael Nerheim:

    It's something Black Lives MatterNavarro community, Black Lives MatterNavarro police department has great concern over, and it's difficult for all of us.

  5. Cynthia Sass:

    So when you make a white bean dip or black bean hummus, you're really using the whole bean.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for BLACK

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"BLACK." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 20 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/BLACK>.

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1 Comment
  • MylsBee77
    I Think The Whole, "I'm Black", "I'm White Has Placed Sum In A Light Of Negative Meaning's For A Purpose Of Demeaning, To State The Least.
    LikeReply2 years ago

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(used especially of glances) directed to one side with or as if with doubt or suspicion or envy
A bristly
B flabby
C dicotyledonous
D askant

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