black hole

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black +‎ hole. When referring to celestial bodies, coining of the term is often credited to physicist John Wheeler, although the first usage in print was by journalist Ann Ewing.[1]


Black Hole in the universe.jpg

black hole ‎(plural black holes)

  1. A gravitationally domineering celestial body with an event horizon from which even light cannot escape; the most dense material in the universe, condensed into a singularity, usually formed by a collapsing massive star.
  2. (figuratively) A void into which things disappear and/or from which nothing emerges.
    1. A sphere of influence into which or from which communication or similar activity is precluded.
      • 2006 October 23, Tom Zeller Jr., “The Internet Black Hole That Is North Korea”, The New York Times
        Julien Pain, head of the Internet desk at Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based group which tracks censorship around the world, put it more bluntly. “It is by far the worst Internet black hole,” he said.
      • 2000 November 26, Linda Seebach, “Unwanted e-mail belongs in an Internet black hole”, [1]
        you'll have to love U.S. District Court Judge John Kane's decision to keep Denver-based out of an Internet black hole.... MAPS maintains a database of Internet addresses that it believes send or relay spam. It’s called the "Realtime Blackhole List"
    2. An entity which consumes time or resources without demonstrable utility.
      • 2004 September 30, Andrew P. Leyden, “The Internet black hole”, PenguinSix, at [2]
        Now that I’m basically up all night US Time, I’ve started to notice that there really isn’t that much going on on the net between say 10:00 and 9:00 AM EDT.
      • 2004 November 16, Jenifer Hanen, “How I fell down an Internet Black Hole....”, Black Phoebe, at [3]
        I finished some client work and gave myself 30 minutes to fall down one of my favorite internet black holes: genealogical research. Four hours plus some later, my eyes were burning in my head
  3. A dungeon or dark cell in a prison; a military lock-up or guardroom.
    • H. Spencer
      A discipline of unlimited autocracy, upheld by rods, and ferules, and the black hole.



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