Calque of Ottoman Turkish قره دكز (Kara Deñiz, “Black Sea”) (modern Turkish Karadeniz) (from kara (“black, dark; north”) + deniz (“sea”)). Compare Russian Чёрное море (Čórnoje more). The Turkish word is derived from the languages of the Near East, which is ultimately from an Old Iranian name: the primary Ancient Greek name Πόντος Ἄξεινος (Póntos Áxeinos) (first attested in 462 BC) is a rendering of Old Iranian *axšaina- (“dark-colored”). The naming is according to the system in which color names indicated the cardinal points (black [or dark] for north, red for south, white for west, and green or light blue for east); compare Red Sea. It is supposedly named as such by the Achaemenids; see Iranica for details.
- (geography) An inland sea bound by Southeastern Europe in the west, Eastern Europe in the north and northeast, and Turkey in the south.