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black (blăk)
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adj. black·er, black·est
1. Being of the color black, producing or reflecting comparatively little light and having no predominant hue.
2. Having little or no light: a black, moonless night.
3. also Black
a. Of or belonging to a racial group having brown to black skin, especially one of African origin: the black population of South Africa.
b. Of or belonging to an American ethnic group descended from African peoples having dark skin; African-American.
4. Very dark in color: rich black soil; black, wavy hair.
5. Being a trail, as for skiing, marked with a sign having a black diamond, indicating a high level of difficulty.
6. Soiled, as from soot; dirty: feet black from playing outdoors.
7. Evil; wicked: the pirates' black deeds.
8. Cheerless and depressing; gloomy: black thoughts.
9. Being or characterized by morbid or grimly satiric humor: a black comedy.
10. Marked by anger or sullenness: gave me a black look.
11. Attended with disaster; calamitous: a black day; the stock market crash on Black Friday.
12. Deserving of, indicating, or incurring censure or dishonor: "Man ... has written one of his blackest records as a destroyer on the oceanic islands" (Rachel Carson).
13. Wearing clothing of the darkest visual hue: the black knight.
14. Served without milk or cream: black coffee.
15. Appearing to emanate from a source other than the actual point of origin. Used chiefly of intelligence operations: black propaganda; black radio transmissions.
16. Disclosed, for reasons of security, only to an extremely limited number of authorized persons; very highly classified: black programs in the Defense Department; the Pentagon's black budget.
17. Chiefly British Boycotted as part of a labor union action.
n.
1.
a. The achromatic color value of minimum lightness or maximum darkness; the color of objects that absorb nearly all light of all visible wavelengths; one extreme of the neutral gray series, the opposite being white. Although strictly a response to zero stimulation of the retina, the perception of black appears to depend on contrast with surrounding color stimuli.
b. A pigment or dye having this color value.
2. Complete or almost complete absence of light; darkness.
3. Clothing of the darkest hue, especially such clothing worn for mourning.
4. also Black
a. A member of a racial group having brown to black skin, especially one of African origin.
b. An American descended from peoples of African origin having brown to black skin; an African American.
5. Something that is colored black.
6. Games
a. The black-colored pieces, as in chess or checkers.
b. The player using these pieces.
7. The condition of making or operating at a profit: worked hard to get the business back into the black.
v. blacked, black·ing, blacks
v.tr.
1. To make black: blacked their faces with charcoal.
2. To apply blacking to: blacked the stove.
3. Chiefly British To boycott as part of a labor union action.
v.intr.
To become black.
Phrasal Verb:
black out
1. To lose consciousness or memory temporarily: blacked out at the podium.
2. To suppress (a fact or memory, for example) from conscious recognition: blacked out many of my wartime experiences.
3. To cover or make illegible with black marking: The names in the document had been blacked out.
4. To prohibit the dissemination of, especially by censorship: blacked out the news issuing from the rebel provinces.
5. To extinguish or conceal all lights that might help enemy aircraft find a target during an air raid.
6. To extinguish all the lights on (a stage).
7. To cause a failure of electrical power in: Storm damage blacked out much of the region.
8. To suppress the broadcast of (an event or program) from an area: blacked out the football game on local TV stations.

[Middle English blak, from Old English blæc; see bhel-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

blackish adj.
blackly adv.
blackness n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Black, Shirley Temple 1928-2014.
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American actress and public official. As Shirley Temple she was an immensely popular child actress of the 1930s, starring in films such as Bright Eyes (1934). As an adult she held several diplomatic positions, including ambassador to Ghana (1974-1976).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Black, Joseph 1728-1799.
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British chemist who rediscovered carbon dioxide (1756) and formulated the concepts of latent heat and specific heat.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Black, Sir James Whyte 1924-2010.
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British pharmacologist. He shared a 1988 Nobel Prize for developing drugs to treat heart disease and stomach and duodenal ulcers.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Black (blăk), Hugo LaFayette 1886-1971.
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American jurist who served as an associate justice of the US Supreme Court (1937-1971). He is noted for his ardent support of civil rights.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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