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 African or Australian Aboriginal ancestry. 5) characterized by tragedy, disaster, or despair. 6) (of humour) presenting tragic or harrowing situations in comic terms. 7) full of anger or hatred.
NOUN 1) black colour or pigment. 2) a member of a dark-skinned people, especially one of African or Australian Aboriginal ancestry. 3) Brit. informal blackcurrant cordial.
VERB 1) make black, especially by the application of black polish, make-up, etc. 2) Brit. dated refuse to handle (goods) or have dealings with (a person or business) as a way of taking industrial action.
black someone's eye — Cf. ↑black someone's eye
black out — Cf. ↑black out
in the black — Cf. ↑in the black
in someone's black books — Cf. ↑in someone's black books
look on the black side — Cf. ↑look on the black side
DERIVATIVES blackish adjective blackly adverb blackness noun.
USAGE To refer to African peoples and their descendants, black is the word most generally accepted in Britain today, in preference to coloured or Negro. In the US African American and Afro-American are often used.
ORIGIN Old English.

English terms dictionary. 2015.