Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: black and white


a black-and-white photo.

Alternative forms[edit]


  • (file)


black-and-white (comparative more black-and-white, superlative most black-and-white)

  1. Of art, a photograph or photography, using shades of grey/gray rather than colour/color.
  2. Of a television or monitor, displaying images in shades of grey/gray rather than colour/color.
  3. (figuratively, idiomatic) Classifying people, objects or concepts as two polar opposites, especially "right" and "wrong"; dichotomous and inflexible.
    • 1999, Cynthia Hendershot, Paranoia, the Bomb, and 1950s Science Fiction Films, Popular Press →ISBN, page 28
      The pseudo-community of enemies in The Day the Earth Stood Still consists of politicians, the military, and businessmen, whereas the pseudo-community of friends, the element that complements the enemies and reinforces the black-and-white morality of paranoia (Cameron, "Revisited" 56), is composed of scientists, women, and children.
    • 2008, Linus Torvalds, Re: [stable] Linux, LKML; quoted in: Bezpieczeństwo, Jacek Popławski, pl.comp.os.advocacy, Usenet
      Security people are often the black-and-white kind of people that I can't stand.
    • 2011, Sandra Orchard, Deep Cover, Harlequin →ISBN, page 144
      “It's complicated. Not everything is black-and-white, Ginny. Sometimes, it's just gray.” The disillusionment in Ginny's eyes hurt bone-deep. She was a black-and-white kind of person. Actions were either right or wrong. No room for in-betweens.
    • 2011, Aileen Zeitz Collucci, Big Picture Thinking: Using Central Coherence Theory to Support Social Skills : a Book for Students, AAPC Publishing →ISBN, page 82
      You could say that inflexible thinking is black-and-white thinking and flexible thinking is rainbow thinking. Black-and-white thinkers have difficulty being flexible in their mind and seeing different possibilities and perspectives.
  4. Alternative form of black and white (easily divided into diametrically opposing camps)




The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also[edit]