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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English blok (log, stump, solid piece), from Old French bloc (log, block), from Middle Dutch blok (treetrunk), from Old Dutch *blok (log), from Proto-Germanic *blukką (beam, log), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰelǵ- (thick plank, beam, pile, prop). Cognate with Old Frisian blok, Old Saxon blok, Old High German bloh, bloc (block), Old English bolca (gangway of a ship, plank), Old Norse bǫlkr (divider, partition). More at balk. See also bloc.


block (plural blocks)

  1. A substantial, often approximately cuboid, piece of any substance.
    a block of ice
    a block of stone
  2. A chopping block; cuboid base for cutting or beheading.
    Anne Boleyn placed her head on the block and awaited her execution.
  3. A group of urban lots of property, several acres in extent, not crossed by public streets.
    I'm going for a walk around the block.
  4. A residential building consisting of flats.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess[1]:
      He turned back to the scene before him and the enormous new block of council dwellings. The design was some way after Corbusier but the block was built up on plinths and resembled an Atlantic liner swimming diagonally across the site.
    a block of flats
  5. The distance from one street to another in a city that is built (approximately) to a grid pattern.
    The place you are looking for is two long blocks east and one short block north.
  6. Interference or obstruction of cognitive processes.
    a mental block
    writer's block
  7. (slang) The human head.
    I'll knock your block off!
  8. A wig block: a simplified head model upon which wigs are worn.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, chapter 13
      Next morning, Monday, after disposing of the embalmed head to a barber, for a block, I settled my own and comrade’s bill; using, however, my comrade’s money.
  9. A mould on which hats, bonnets, etc., are shaped.
  10. A set of sheets (of paper) joined together at one end.
    a block of 100 tickets
  11. (computing) A logical data storage unit containing one or more physical sectors (see cluster).
  12. (programming) A region of code in a program that acts as a single unit, such as a function or loop.
  13. (cryptography) A fixed-length group of bits making up part of a message.
  14. (nautical) A case with one or more sheaves/pulleys, used with ropes to increase or redirect force, for example, as part of the rigging of a sailing ship.
  15. (chemistry) A portion of a macromolecule, comprising many units, that has at least one feature not present in adjacent portions.
  16. Something that prevents something from passing.
    Synonyms: barrier, blockage, obstruction
    There's a block in the pipe that means the water can't get through.
  17. (sports) An action to interfere with the movement of an opposing player or of the object of play (ball, puck).
    • 2011 February 12, Oliver Brett, “Sunderland 1–2 Tottenham”, in BBC[2]:
      The match proved an unedifying spectacle until Spurs won a corner following their first move of real quality, John Mensah making an important block with Jermain Defoe poised to strike.
  18. (cricket) A shot played by holding the bat vertically in the path of the ball, so that it loses momentum and drops to the ground.
  19. (volleyball) A defensive play by one or more players meant to deflect a spiked ball back to the hitter’s court.
  20. (philately) A joined group of four (or in some cases nine) postage stamps, forming a roughly square shape.
  21. A section of split logs used as fuel.
    • 1833, The Gospel Anchor (volume 2, page 371)
      She said, 'I hope I shall not be left to kill myself, but It would be no more sin to kill me, than to put a block on the fire.'
    • 1803, Mary Tighe, Selena:
      "Aye," said the farmer putting another block on the fire as he spoke []
    • 2012, Ron Herrett, Shorty's Story
      Dawn and Shorty would cut this tree into blocks, while Randy and Matt went back for more. Dawn and Shorty made a good team on the crosscut, so when another log arrived, the first was almost completely made into shake wood.
  22. (Britain) Solitary confinement.
  23. A cellblock.
  24. (falconry) The perch on which a bird of prey is kept.
  25. (printing, dated) A piece of hard wood on which a stereotype or electrotype plate is mounted.
  26. (obsolete) A blockhead; a stupid fellow; a dolt.
  27. (rail transport) A section of a railroad where the block system is used.
  28. (cricket) The position of a player or bat when guarding the wicket.
  29. (cricket) A blockhole.
  30. (cricket) The popping crease.
  31. (viticulture) A discrete group of vines in a vineyard, often distinguished from others by variety, clone, canopy training method, irrigation infrastructure, or some combination thereof.
Related terms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
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.


block (third-person singular simple present blocks, present participle blocking, simple past and past participle blocked)

  1. (transitive) To fill (something) so that it is not possible to pass.
    The pipe is blocked.
  2. (transitive) To prevent (something or someone) from passing.
    You're blocking the road – I can't get through!
    • 2020 January 2, Philip Haigh, “Is there relief to congestion along Castlefield Corridor?”, in Rail, page 23:
      However, at Manchester the junctions and signals are so close that a train running more slowly over several junctions simply blocks those junctions for longer, preventing other trains moving.
  3. (transitive) To prevent (something from happening or someone from doing something).
    His plan to take over the business was blocked by the boss.
  4. (transitive, sports) To impede an opponent.
    He blocked the basketball player's shot.
    The offensive linemen tried to block the blitz.
  5. (transitive, theater) To specify the positions and movements of the actors.
    It was very difficult to block this scene convincingly.
  6. (transitive, cricket) To hit with a block.
  7. (intransitive, cricket) To play a block shot.
  8. (transitive) To disable communication via telephone, instant messaging, etc., with an undesirable someone.
    I tried to send you a message, but you've blocked me!
  9. (computing, intransitive) To wait.
    When the condition expression is false, the thread blocks on the condition variable.
  10. (transitive) To stretch or mould (a knitted item, a hat, etc.) into the desired shape.
    I blocked the mittens by wetting them and pinning them to a shaped piece of cardboard.
  11. (transitive) To shape or sketch out roughly.
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]



  1. Misspelling of bloc.



Borrowed from English block.


block m (genitive singular bluick)

  1. block, log, cake (of soap)

Derived terms[edit]


Manx mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
block vlock mlock
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.



From English block. Doublet of bloc and bloque.



block m (plural blocks)

  1. (Guatemala) cement block
    Synonym: bloque de cemento




block n

  1. a block, a boulder, a cuboid (of ice, wood, rock)
  2. a block, a pad, a notebook
  3. a block, a pulley
  4. a block, a piece of data storage
  5. a bloc (of voters or countries)


Declension of block 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative block blocket block blocken
Genitive blocks blockets blocks blockens

Related terms[edit]