Did you know?

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

block - 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.



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.

noun [countable] block pronunciation in British English /blɒk/
Word Forms
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    a large building with a lot of different levels

    There’s a flat available in the block where I live.

    block of flats:

    The whole block of flats was destroyed.

    1. a.
      a building that is part of a larger building or group of buildings

      The main block of the hotel dates back to 1650.

  2. 2
    an area of buildings in a town or city with streets on all four sides

    I was early for the meeting, so I walked around the block a couple of times.

    1. a.
      mainly American the distance along a city street from where one road crosses it to the next road

      The school was only a few blocks from where she lived.

  3. 3
    a solid piece of wood, stone, ice etc with straight sides

    The baby was playing with wooden blocks.

    block of:

    It’s amazing to think that this huge statue was carved from a single block of marble.

  4. 4
    an amount of something, or a number of individual things that are considered together as a single object
    block of:

    The company buys blocks of seats from airlines, then sells them to the public.

    block of:

    You can move blocks of text on-screen using the mouse.

    1. a.
      computing an amount of information considered as one unit, used when writing computer programs
      block of:

      The hard disk contains a block of data known as the ‘bootsection.

  5. 5
    a continuous period of time

    We need to find a two-hour block when we are all free for this seminar.

  6. 6
    [usually singular] something that stops you from doing something or being successful

    The issue of holiday pay was the major block in reaching an agreement.

  7. 7
    [usually singular] a short time when you are unable to think clearly or remember something that you usually know

    I had a sudden block and couldn’t remember his name.

  8. 8
    something that stops movement through a place or along something

    There must be a block in the pipeline.

  9. 9

    the blocks

    [plural] two pieces of metal or wood that runners use at the start of a race to push their feet against

sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an electric skateboard

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