Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

black - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective     black pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
© Macmillan Publishers Limited
  1. 1
    having the darkest colour, like the sky at night when there is no light

    He was wearing black shorts.

    Black cats are sometimes thought to be lucky.

    clouds of thick black smoke

  2. 2




    belonging or relating to a race of people with dark skin, especially people whose families were originally from Africa

    She was the first black woman barrister in the UK.

    Dr King was a leader in the Black community.

    a famous black actor

  3. 3
    tea or coffee that is black has no milk in it

    Do you take your coffee black or white?

  4. 4
    making people feel unhappy or lose hope

    one of the blackest moments in British history

    It’s a black day for the car industry.

  5. 7
    literary evil or cruel

    a black deed

    Synonyms and related words
    Synonyms and related words
quiz invitation
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


a description of an economic or political situation based on analysis of information at the present time

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an unregulated form of capitalism that features financial deregulation, privatisation and low tax for high earners

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play