black market

From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: black-market


Alternative forms[edit]


Ca. 1930, probably a calque of German Schwarzmarkt, which is attested from the 1910s. Compare Schwärzer (smuggler, 18th c.).


  • (file)


black market (plural black markets)

  1. Trade that is in violation of restrictions, rationing, or price controls.
    • 2004, George Carlin, “THE FANATICS WILL WIN”, in When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?[1], New York: Hyperion Books, →ISBN, page 135:
      Peace and order will not be tolerated. Start saving your cash for the black market, folks, you're gonna need it.
    • 2012 March 22, Scott Tobias, “The Hunger Games”, in AV Club[2]:
      In District 12, a dirt-poor coal-mining community that looks like a Dorothea Lange photograph, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) quietly rebels against the system by hunting game in a forbidden area with her friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and trading it on the black market.
    • 2023 December 22, Robyn Vinter, “Britons increasingly turning to food black market, experts say”, in The Guardian[3], →ISSN:
      Increasing numbers of people are turning to a growing black market for food to supplement their diets as prices rocket, experts have said.
  2. (collective) The people who engage in such trade, or that sector of the economy.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]