black belt

black belt

[blak belt for 1, 2; blak belt, belt for 3, 4]
noun
1.
(initial capital letters) a narrow belt of dark-colored, calcareous soils in central Alabama and Mississippi highly adapted to agriculture, especially the growing of cotton.
2.
the area of a city or region inhabited primarily by blacks.
3.
Martial Arts.
a.
a black cloth waistband conferred upon a participant in one of the martial arts, as judo or karate, to indicate a degree of expertise of the highest rank.
b.
a person who has obtained such rank.
c.
the rank itself. Compare brown belt, white belt.
4.
a person proficient in some particular skill or endeavor; expert.

Origin:
1865–70

black-belt, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
black belt
 
n
1.  martial arts
 a.  a black belt worn by an instructor or expert competitor in the dan grades, usually from first to fifth dan
 b.  a person entitled to wear this
2.  the black belt a region of the southern US extending from Georgia across central Alabama and Mississippi, in which the population contains a large number of Black people: also noted for its fertile black soil

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

black belt

physical region in Alabama and Mississippi, U.S., so named for its soil. The Black Belt is a fertile plain, generally 25-30 miles (40-50 km) wide and stretching approximately 300 miles (480 km) across central Alabama and northeastern Mississippi. A region of dark, calcareous soils, it was one of the South's most important agricultural areas before the American Civil War. Though corn (maize) was also grown, cotton was the most important crop until the destructive effects of the boll weevil encouraged agricultural diversification in the early years of the 20th century. Beef cattle and soybeans are now also raised in the area.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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