Definition of black swan in English:

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black swan


1A mainly black swan with white flight feathers which is common in Australia and Tasmania and has been introduced elsewhere.
  • Cygnus atratus, family Anatidae.
Example sentences
  • There were black swans and white swans in the park, and a huge dolls' house where rabbits lived.
  • The Delhi zoo had about 4-5 pairs of black swans, but now their numbers has come down to one male and two females.
  • There was also a mass of black swans, making little cooing sounds that reminded me of learning to play the recorder in primary school.
1.1An unpredictable or unforeseen event, typically one with extreme consequences: [as modifier]: geopolitical black swan events, such as the Arab Spring and the Japanese earthquake, have further complicated the market dynamics
More example sentences
  • A black swan event tends to answer a question never asked.
  • The black swan concept focuses on an individual event instead of the cumulative probability of the numerous events that will lead to the same outcome.
  • Stimulus after stimulus leaves us with no savings, overleveraged and unable to cope with the next "black swan" that comes along.
1.2 archaic Something extremely rare: husbands without faults, if such black swans there be
Proverbial, from Juvenal's Satires
More example sentences
  • Our system of rewards is not adapted to black swans.
  • Viewed in this framework, all scientific theorisations (economic or otherwise) are basically waiting for the black swan.
  • The statement is a paradox which cannot be tested empirically - no matter how many black swans you look for - and whose truth-value cannot be judged.

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