General English

  • adjective having a very dark colour, the opposite to white
  • adjective belonging to a race of people with dark skin, whose families are African in origin

General Science

  • adjective having no colour or appearing very dark owing to the absorption of all or nearly all light

Media Studies


  • noun a spot on a printed sheet, caused when part of the leading is too high and touches the paper


  • verb to forbid trading in particular goods or with particular suppliers

Origin & History of “black”

The usual Old English word for ‘black’ was sweart (source of modern English swart and swarthy, and related to German schwarz ‘black’), but black already existed (Old English blæc), and since the middle English period it has replaced swart. Related but now extinct forms existed in other Germanic languages (including Old Norse blakkr ‘dark’ and Old Saxon blac ‘ink’), but the word’s ultimate source is not clear. some have compared it with Latin flagrāre and Greek phlégein, both meaning ‘burn’, which go back to an Indo-European base *phleg-, a variant of *bhleg-.