1. A massive star in the last phase of its evolution, in which the star collapses, creating a volume of spacetime with a gravitational field so intense that its escape velocity equals or exceeds that of light.
2. A great void; an abyss: The government created a bureaucratic black hole that swallows up individual initiative.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.