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definition of the word black

by the Wiktionnary

Rank of this word in the English language, from analyzing texts from Project Gutenberg.
question doubt around #408: black lady truth turn

From Middle English blak, from Old English blæc. Cognates include blaze', bleach, blond, bald, bale, pale, Latin flagare, to shine, Latin blancus, white, Gothic 𐌱𐌰𐌻𐌰 (bala), paleness, German erbleichen, bleich, go -, turn pale, German bleichen, bleach and Russian белый, white.

black (comparative blacker, superlative blackest)




  1. (of an object) absorbing all light and reflecting none; dark and colourless.
  2. (of a place, etc) without light.
  3. (sometimes capitalized) Relating to persons of African descent or (especially in the US) their culture.
  4. (Ireland, idiomatic) Overcrowded.
  5. Bad; evil.
    • 1655, Benjamin Needler, Expository notes, with practical observations; towards the opening of the five first chapters of the first book of Moses called Genesis. London: N. Webb and W. Grantham, page 168.
      ...what a black day would that be, when the Ordinances of Jesus Christ should as it were be excommunicated, and cast out of the Church of Christ.
  6. Illegitimate, illegal or disgraced.
    • 1866, The Contemporary Review, London: A. Strahan, page 338.
      Foodstuffs were rationed and, as in other countries in a similar situation, the black market was flourishing.

Definition from Wiktionary
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