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black art

witchcraft; magic.
Origin of black art
1580-90 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for black art
Historical Examples
  • Theology bears the same relation to science that the black art does to chemistry, that magic does to mathematics.

  • I don't think this is a case of the black art or anything of the sort.

    Tales of Space and Time Herbert George Wells
  • The good brother, who persisted in preaching the end of the world, was strongly suspected of dealing in the black art.

  • I know more or less about black art, but that series of rooms is too much for me.

    Black Spirits and White Ralph Adams Cram
  • Had I a thousand daughters, by heaven I'd as soon have them taught the black art as their alphabet!

  • She was advised to consult a man who was an adept in the black art.

    Welsh Folk-Lore Elias Owen
  • He was a mighty man, and thoroughly skilled in the black art.

  • I'd as soon have them taught the black art as their alphabet!

  • "It's a lady climbing a ladder," he announced composedly and drew back his sleeve to reveal this sample of black art.

    Cappy Ricks Peter B. Kyne
  • The books which instruct in the black art are known as 'black books.'

    Among the Tibetans Isabella L. Bird
British Dictionary definitions for black art

black art

the black art, another name for black magic
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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black art in Technology

A collection of arcane, unpublished, and (by implication) mostly ad-hoc techniques developed for a particular application or systems area (compare black magic). VLSI design and compiler code optimisation were (in their beginnings) considered classic examples of black art; as theory developed they became deep magic, and once standard textbooks had been written, became merely heavy wizardry. The huge proliferation of formal and informal channels for spreading around new computer-related technologies during the last twenty years has made both the term "black art" and what it describes less common than formerly. See also voodoo programming.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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