English dictionary

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English adjective: black

1. black being of the achromatic color of maximum darkness; having little or no hue owing to absorption of almost all incident light

SamplesBlack leather jackets.
As black as coal.
Rich black soil.

See alsodark



2. black of or belonging to a racial group having dark skin especially of sub-Saharan African origin

SamplesA great people--a black people--...injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization.

SimilarAfrican-American, Afro-American, colored, coloured, dark, dark-skinned, negro, negroid, non-white


3. black marked by anger or resentment or hostility

SamplesBlack looks.
Black words.



4. black offering little or no hope

SamplesThe future looked black.
Prospects were bleak.
Life in the Aran Islands has always been bleak and difficult.
Took a dim view of things.

Synonymsbleak, dim



5. black stemming from evil characteristics or forces; wicked or dishonorable

SamplesBlack 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.

Synonymsdark, sinister



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

SamplesThe 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.
It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.
A fateful error.

Synonymscalamitous, disastrous, fatal, fateful



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

SamplesA face black with fury.


Similarcolored, colorful, coloured

Antonymsuncolored, uncoloured

8. black extremely dark

SamplesA black moonless night.
Through the pitch-black woods.
It was pitch-dark in the cellar.

Synonymspitch-black, pitch-dark



9. black harshly ironic or sinister

SamplesBlack humor.
A grim joke.
Grim laughter.
Fun ranging from slapstick clowning ... to savage mordant wit.

Synonymsgrim, mordant



10. black (of intelligence operations) deliberately misleading

SamplesBlack propaganda.


Antonymsovert, open

11. black distributed or sold illicitly

SamplesThe black economy pays no taxes.

Synonymsblack-market, bootleg, contraband, smuggled



12. black (used of conduct or character) deserving or bringing disgrace or shame

SamplesMan...has written one of his blackest records as a destroyer on the oceanic islands.
An ignominious retreat.
Inglorious defeat.
An opprobrious monument to human greed.
A shameful display of cowardice.

Synonymsdisgraceful, ignominious, inglorious, opprobrious, shameful

Similardishonorable, dishonourable

Antonymshonourable, honorable

13. black (of coffee) without cream or sugar


Antonymsdilute, diluted

14. black soiled with dirt or soot

SamplesWith feet black from playing outdoors.
His shirt was black within an hour.


Similardirty, soiled, unclean


English noun: black

1. black (attribute) the quality or state of the achromatic color of least lightness (bearing the least resemblance to white)

Synonymsblackness, inkiness

Broader (hypernym)achromatic color, achromatic colour

Narrower (hyponym)coal black, ebony, jet black, pitch black, sable, soot black

Antonymswhiteness, white

2. black (state) total absence of light

SamplesThey fumbled around in total darkness.
In the black of night.

Synonymsblackness, lightlessness, pitch blackness, total darkness

Broader (hypernym)dark, darkness

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

SynonymsJoseph Black

Instance hypernymchemist

4. Black (person) popular child actress of the 1930's (born in 1928)

SynonymsShirley Temple, Shirley Temple Black

Instance hypernymactress

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

SynonymsBlack person, blackamoor, Negro, Negroid

Broader (hypernym)individual, mortal, person, person of color, person of colour, somebody, someone, soul

Narrower (hyponym)Black man, Black woman, colored, colored person, coon, darkey, darkie, darky, jigaboo, Negress, nigga, nigger, nigra, picaninny, piccaninny, pickaninny, spade, Tom, Uncle Tom

Member meronymBlack race, Negro race, Negroid race

Domain regionAfrica

6. black (artifact) (board games) the darker pieces

Broader (hypernym)man, piece

Domain categorycheckers, chess, chess game, draughts


7. black (artifact) black clothing (worn as a sign of mourning)

SamplesThe widow wore black.

Broader (hypernym)article of clothing, clothing, habiliment, vesture, wear, wearable

English verb: black

1. black (change) make or become black

SamplesThe smoke blackened the ceiling.
The ceiling blackened.

Synonymsblacken, melanise, melanize, nigrify

Pattern of useSomething ----s.
Somebody ----s something.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)color, colour, discolor, discolour

Antonymswhite, whiten

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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