black

black, blacken verbs.
Black is used when the meaning is to deliberately make something black, as in blacking one's face, one's shoes, a person's eye, etc., in the meaning to declare something ‘black’ (i.e. to boycott it), and in the phrasal verb to black out. Blacken is more often used to imply an unintentional or fortuitous process (the ceiling blackened with smoke); unlike black, it can be used intransitively (The sky blackened), and is more common as a participial adjective:

• Then you notice the blackened buildings, boarded up houses and the painted slogans in the housing estates —Woman's Own, 1977.

Blacken also has a special figurative use, ‘to besmirch or tarnish’, with reference to people's character, reputation, etc.
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black
In the 1920s this word began to replace Negro, Negress, and, more particularly, the pejorative word Nigger, as a term for a person of African descent. In Britain, black can controversially refer to people of South Asian as well as African origin (although it is preferable to use specific terms such as Indian, Malay, Pakistani, etc.); in AmE the term African-American is also used. For a time it was thought appropriate to spell black with a capital initial as a racial term, but the normal preference now is for a small initial. Black is used in certain fixed collocations such as black music and Black English (see below).

Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Black — (bl[a^]k), a. [OE. blak, AS. bl[ae]c; akin to Icel. blakkr dark, swarthy, Sw. bl[ a]ck ink, Dan. bl[ae]k, OHG. blach, LG. & D. blaken to burn with a black smoke. Not akin to AS. bl[=a]c, E. bleak pallid. [root]98.] 1. Destitute of light, or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • black — black; black·a·moor; black·bird·er; black·burn; black·burn·ian; black·en; black·en·er; black·guard·ery; black·guard·ism; black·guard·ly; black·ie; black·ish; black·leg·gery; black·leg·ism; black·ly; black·neck; black·nob; black·pool; black·shop;… …   English syllables

  • Black — ist das englische Wort für Schwarz eine besonders im US amerikanischen Sprachgebrauch verwendete Bezeichnung für Afroamerikaner ein häufiger Familienname, siehe Black (Familienname) in der Theaterbeleuchtung eine Lichtszene ohne Licht, meist um… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • black — [blak] adj. [ME blak < OE blæc < IE * bhleg , burn, gleam (> L flagrare, flame, burn) < base * bhel , to gleam, white: orig. sense, “sooted, smoke black from flame”] 1. opposite to white; of the color of coal or pitch: see COLOR 2.… …   English World dictionary

  • Black — Black, n. 1. 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. [1913 Webster] Black is the badge of hell, The hue of dungeons, and the suit of night. Shak. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • black — ► ADJECTIVE 1) of the very darkest colour owing to the absence of or complete absorption of light. 2) deeply stained with dirt. 3) (of coffee or tea) served without milk. 4) relating to a human group having dark coloured skin, especially of… …   English terms dictionary

  • black — [ blak ] n. et adj. • 1790; mot angl. « noir » 1 ♦ Anglic. Fam. Personne de race noire. « Les beurs, blacks et autres banlieusards » (Libération, 1987). ♢ Adj. Musiciens blacks. Mode, musique black. 2 ♦ Loc. adv. Au black : au noir, sans être… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Black — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Black (en castellano: negro) puede referirse a: Música Black, la canción de Pearl Jam; Black, una banda británica de música; Black metal, subgénero musical; Black/Doom, subgénero musical; Miscelánea Black, videojuego …   Wikipedia Español

  • Black — Black, James W. Black, Josep * * * (as used in expressions) Black and Tan Black Sox, escándalo de los Black, Hugo (La Fayette) Black, Sir James (Whyte) black bass Shirley Temple Black …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Black — Black, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Blacked}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Blacking}.] [See {Black}, a., and cf. {Blacken}.] [1913 Webster] 1. To make black; to blacken; to soil; to sully. [1913 Webster] They have their teeth blacked, both men and women, for they… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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