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Synonyms of black in English:


  • 1 a black horse
    Heraldry  sable
    literary Stygian
    [Antonyms] white
  • 2 a black night
    [Antonyms] clear, bright
  • 3 the blackest day of the war
    tragic, disastrous, calamitous, catastrophic, cataclysmic, ruinous, devastating, fatal, fateful, wretched, woeful, grievous, lamentable, miserable, dire, unfortunate, awful, terrible
    literary direful
    [Antonyms] joyful
  • 5 black humour
    cynical, sick, macabre, weird, unhealthy, ghoulish, morbid, perverted, gruesome, sadistic, cruel, offensive
  • 6 Rory shot her a black look
    angry, cross, annoyed, irate, vexed, irritated, exasperated, indignant, aggrieved, irked, piqued, displeased, provoked, galled, resentful, irascible, bad-tempered, tetchy, testy, crabby, waspish, dark, dirty, filthy, furious, outraged;
    threatening, menacing, unfriendly, aggressive, belligerent, hostile, antagonistic, evil, evil-intentioned, wicked, nasty, hate-filled, bitter, acrimonious, malevolent, malicious, malignant, malign, venomous, poisonous, vitriolic, vindictive
    British informal shirty, stroppy, narky, ratty, eggy
    literary malefic, maleficent
    [Antonyms] pleasant, friendly
  • Phrases

    in the black
    the company's in the black again
    [Antonyms] in debt
    in credit, in funds, debt-free, out of debt, solvent, financially sound, able to pay one's debts, creditworthy, of good financial standing, solid, secure, profit-making, profitable
    rare unindebted
    black and white
  • 1 a black-and-white picture
    [Antonyms] colour
  • 2 I wish to see the proposals in black and white
    in print, printed, written down, set down, on paper, committed to paper, recorded, on record, documented, clearly/plainly/explicitly defined
    [Antonyms] spoken
  • 3 they tend to talk around the subject instead of making black-and-white statements
    simplistic, shallow, pat, glib, jejune, naive
    [Antonyms] equivocal
  • 4 children think in black and white, good and bad
    in absolute terms, unequivocally, without shades of grey, categorically, uncompromisingly, unconditionally, unambiguously, clearly, positively, straightforwardly, definitely, definitively;
    [Antonyms] equivocally
  • verb

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  • 1 the steps of the houses were neatly blacked See blacken
  • 2 he broke his nose and blacked his eye
    bruise, contuse;
    hit, punch, injure;
    make black, discolour
  • 3British dated trade union members blacked the work
    boycott, embargo, put/place an embargo on, blacklist, ban, bar, proscribe
  • Phrases

    black out
    the pain hit him and he blacked out
    faint, lose consciousness, pass out, collapse, keel over
    informal flake out, conk out, go out
    literary swoon
    black something out
  • 1 the city was blacked out as an air-raid precaution
    darken, make dark/darker, shade, turn off the lights in;
    keep the light out of
  • 2 the report on the incident has over 200 pages blacked out
  • Choose the right word

    Black has been used to refer to African peoples and their descendants since the 14th century, and has been in continuous use ever since. Other terms have enjoyed prominence too: in the US coloured was the term adopted in preference by emancipated slaves following the American Civil War, and coloured was itself superseded in the US in the early 20th century by Negro as the term preferred by black American campaigners. In Britain, on the other hand, coloured was the most widely used and accepted term in the 1950s and early 1960s. With the civil rights and Black Power movements of the 1960s, black was adopted in the US to signify a sense of racial pride, and it is the usual word in Britain today. In the US African American is the currently accepted term, which first became prominent in the late 1980s

    Word links

    melan- related prefix, as in melanin, Melanesia
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