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See also: black and bläck



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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English blak (black). Also a variant of Blake, from Old English blāc (pale) and Blanc, from Old French blanc (white).

Proper noun[edit]

Black (countable and uncountable, plural Blacks)

  1. A surname transferred from the nickname.
  2. A number of places in the United States:
    1. A town in Geneva County, Alabama.
    2. An unincorporated community in Edwards County, Illinois.
    3. A township in Posey County, Indiana; from the surname.
    4. An unincorporated community in Reynolds County, Missouri.
    5. A township in Somerset County, Pennsylvania; from the surname.
    6. An unincorporated community in Mercer County and Wyoming County, West Virginia.
Derived terms[edit]
  • According to the 2010 United States Census, Black is the 174th most common surname in the United States, belonging to 154,738 individuals. Black is most common among White (74.63%) and Black (19.00%) individuals.

Etymology 2[edit]


Black (not comparable)

  1. (chiefly Canada, US, often UK) Alternative letter-case form of black (of or relating to any of various ethnic groups having dark pigmentation of the skin)
    • 1973, Huey P. Newton, J. Herman Blake, Revolutionary Suicide, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, →ISBN, page 3:
      It contained an article written by Lacy Banko summarizing the work of Dr. Herbert Hendin, who had done a comparative study on suicide among Black people in the major American cities. Dr. Hendin found that the suicide rate among Black men between the ages of nineteen and thirty-five had doubled in the past ten to fifteen years, surpassing the rate for whites in the same age range.
    • 1986, Chaya Shalom, “The only dyke from Israel”, in Off Our Backs, volume 16, number 8, →JSTOR, page 26:
      A group of Black women came in later but only observed from the sidelines.
    • 1999, Geoffrey K. Pullum, “African American Vernacular English Is Not Standard English with Mistakes”, in Rebecca S. Wheeler, editor, The Workings of Language, →ISBN, page 40:
      Buried among the jargon of the announcement was a mention of a name for AAVE, suggested by a Black scholar in 1975[sic] but never adopted by linguists: Ebonics. That word, concocted from ebony (a color term from the name of a dark-colored wood) and phonics (the name of a method for teaching reading), was destined to attach to the board as if chiseled into a block of granite and hung round their necks.
    • 2020 May 31, “Violence, destruction mar Seattle protests over the death of George Floyd”, in The Seattle Times[1], page A1:
      Hundreds of Seattle protesters came together Saturday to voice the sadness and fury that has spread across the country over the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after being pinned beneath the knee of a Minneapolis police officer for almost nine minutes.
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:Black.


Black (plural Blacks)

  1. Alternative letter-case form of black (person having dark pigmentation of the skin)

Usage notes[edit]

  • See usage notes at black regarding capitalization of the term.




Black m or f by sense (plural Blacks)

  1. Alternative letter-case form of black

German Low German[edit]


From Old Saxon *blak, from Proto-Germanic *blaką. Cognate with English black.



Black n (no plural)

  1. ink


Derived terms[edit]