black and white

black and white

noun
black ( def 33 ).
Dictionary.com Unabridged

black-and-white

[blak-uhn-hwahyt, -wahyt]
adjective
1.
displaying only black and white tones; without color, as a picture or chart: a black-and-white photograph.
2.
partly black and partly white; made up of separate areas or design elements of black and white: black-and-white shoes.
3.
of, pertaining to, or constituting a two-valued system, as of logic or morality; absolute: To those who think in black-and-white terms, a person must be either entirely good or entirely bad.

Origin:
1590–1600

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
black-and-white
 
n
1.  a.  a photograph, picture, sketch, etc, in black, white, and shades of grey rather than in colour
 b.  (as modifier): black-and-white film
2.  Compare colour the neutral tones of black, white, and intermediate shades of grey
3.  in black and white
 a.  in print or writing
 b.  in extremes: he always saw things in black and white

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

black and white

  1. A monochromatic picture, drawing, television image, computer monitor, or film, as opposed to one using many colors, as in Photos in black and white fade less than those taken with color film. [Late 1800s]

  2. Also, black or white. Involving a very clear distinction, without any gradations. For example, He tended to view everything as a black and white issueit was either right or wrongwhereas his partner always found gray areas. This usage is based on the association of black with evil and white with virtue, which dates back at least 2,000 years. [Early 1800s] Also see gray area.

  3. in black and white. Written down or in print, and therefore official. For example, The terms of our agreement were spelled out in black and white, so there should be no question about it. This term alludes to black ink or print on white paper. Shakespeare used it in Much Ado about Nothing (5:1). [Late 1500s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Idioms & Phrases
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