block

Definitions

General English

  • noun a large building
  • noun something that prevents something happening

General Science

Aviation

  • verb to prevent something such as a fluid from passing freely through a pipe or channel
  • verb to prevent a course of action

Banking

  • noun a series of items grouped together
  • noun a series of buildings forming a square with streets on all sides
  • verb to stop something taking place

Commerce

  • noun a very large number of shares of stock, typically 10,000 or more

Computing

  • noun a number of stored records treated as a single unit

Construction

  • A usually hollow concrete masonry unit or other building unit, such as glass block.
  • A piece of wood nailed between joists to stiffen a floor.
  • Any small piece of wood secured to the interior angle joint to strengthen and stiffen it.
  • A pulley and its enclosure.
  • A solid piece of wood or other material used to fill spaces between formwork members.
  • One of several small rectangular divisions within a city, bounded on each side by successive streets.

Cricket

  • the area in the middle of a cricket ground where several pitches are laid out; the square
  • verb to stop the ball defensively with the bat
    Citation ‘He blocked the doubtful balls, missed the bad ones, took the good ones and sent them flying to all parts of the field’ (Dickens, Pickwick Papers 1837, ch 7)

Electronics

  • A group, number, or section which is treated as a unit.
  • A group of bits or bytes transmitted or processed as a unit.
  • A group of computer storage locations treated as a unit.
  • A group of computer records stored and transferred as a unit. Also called record block.
  • A section of text, or spreadsheet cells, selected to be used together.
  • To stop or impede passage or movement.

Forex

  • (written as Block)
    A large volume of currencies packaged together to be exchanged at one time.

Law

  • noun a building in a prison

Media Studies

  • noun a piece of hard material with a carved image in relief, that can be printed in ink
  • verb to use a block to print a design, especially a title on a book cover

Medical

  • noun a large piece of something
  • noun a period of time
  • noun one of the different buildings forming a section of a hospital
  • verb to fill the space in something and stop other things passing through it

Publishing

  • noun a piece of metal with a design in relief on the surface, used for printing an illustration by letterpress
  • noun a stamp used to press a design on a cover, with or without metal foil or ink
  • verb to stamp a design on the cover of a book

Slang

  • noun the head. Since the early 1950s this old term has only been used as part of phrases such as ‘knock someone’s block off’ or ‘do one’s block’.
  • noun solitary confinement. A prisoners’ term which is a shortening of ‘punishment block’. Down the block denotes being (sent) in(to) solitary confinement.

Sports

  • noun the act of stopping a function
  • noun something that causes an obstruction

Travel

  • noun a group of things together

Origin & History of “block”

English borrowed block from Old French bloc, but its ultimate origin appears to be Germanic; French acquired it from Middle Dutch blok ‘tree trunk’. The derived verb block ‘impede’ first crops up in the early 15th century, but was not established until the later 16th century; it originally meant ‘put blocks (of wood) or obstacles in the way of’. Blockade was coined in the 17th century, perhaps on the model of ambuscade, a contemporary synonym of ambush.
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