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[blak] /blæk/
Hugo Lafayette, 1886–1971, U.S. political official: associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court 1937–71.
(Sir) James Whyte [hwahyt,, wahyt] /ʰwaɪt,, waɪt/ (Show IPA), born 1924, English pharmacologist: Nobel prize 1988.
Joseph, 1728–99, Scottish physician and chemist.
Shirley Temple, Temple, Shirley. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for james whyte black


of the colour of jet or carbon black, having no hue due to the absorption of all or nearly all incident light Compare white (sense 1)
without light; completely dark
without hope or alleviation; gloomy: the future looked black
very dirty or soiled: black factory chimneys
angry or resentful: she gave him black looks
(of a play or other work) dealing with the unpleasant realities of life, esp in a pessimistic or macabre manner: black comedy
(of coffee or tea) without milk or cream
causing, resulting from, or showing great misfortune: black areas of unemployment
  1. wicked or harmful: a black lie
  2. (in combination): black-hearted
causing or deserving dishonour or censure: a black crime
(of the face) purple, as from suffocation
(Brit) (of goods, jobs, works, etc) being subject to boycott by trade unionists, esp in support of industrial action elsewhere
a black colour
a dye or pigment of or producing this colour
black clothing, worn esp as a sign of mourning
(chess, draughts)
  1. a black or dark-coloured piece or square
  2. (usually capital) the player playing with such pieces
complete darkness: the black of the night
a black ball in snooker, etc
(in roulette and other gambling games) one of two colours on which players may place even bets, the other being red
in the black, in credit or without debt
(archery) a black ring on a target, between the outer and the blue, scoring three points
another word for blacken
(transitive) to polish (shoes, etc) with blacking
(transitive) to bruise so as to make black: he blacked her eye
(transitive) (Brit & Austral, NZ) (of trade unionists) to organize a boycott of (specified goods, jobs, work, etc), esp in support of industrial action elsewhere
See also blackout
Derived Forms
blackish, adjective
blackishly, adverb
blackly, adverb
blackness, noun
Word Origin
Old English blæc; related to Old Saxon blak ink, Old High German blakra to blink


a member of a human population having dark pigmentation of the skin
of or relating to a Black person or Black people: a Black neighbourhood
Usage note
Talking about a Black or Blacks is considered offensive and it is better to talk about a Black person, Black people


Sir James (Whyte). 1924–2010, British biochemist. He discovered beta-blockers and drugs for peptic ulcers: Nobel prize for physiology or medicine 1988
Joseph. 1728–99, Scottish physician and chemist, noted for his pioneering work on carbon dioxide and heat
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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Word Origin and History for james whyte black



Old English blæc "dark," from Proto-Germanic *blakaz "burned" (cf. Old Norse blakkr "dark," Old High German blah "black," Swedish bläck "ink," Dutch blaken "to burn"), from PIE *bhleg- "to burn, gleam, shine, flash" (cf. Greek phlegein "to burn, scorch," Latin flagrare "to blaze, glow, burn"), from root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn;" see bleach (v.).

The same root produced Old English blac "bright, shining, glittering, pale;" the connecting notions being, perhaps, "fire" (bright) and "burned" (dark). The usual Old English word for "black" was sweart (see swart). According to OED: "In ME. it is often doubtful whether blac, blak, blake, means 'black, dark,' or 'pale, colourless, wan, livid.' " Used of dark-skinned people in Old English.

Of coffee, first attested 1796. Meaning "fierce, terrible, wicked" is late 14c. The color of sin and sorrow since at least c.1300; sense of "with dark purposes, malignant" emerged 1580s (e.g. black magic). Black face in reference to a performance style originated in U.S., is from 1868. Black flag, flown (especially by pirates) as a signal of "no mercy," from 1590s. Black dog "melancholy" attested from 1826. Black belt is from 1875 in reference to districts of the U.S. South with heaviest African population; 1870 with reference to fertility of soil; 1913 in judo sense. Black power is from 1966, associated with Stokely Carmichael.


c.1200, "to become black;" early 14c., "to make black, darken;" from black (adj.). Related: Blacked; blacking.


Old English blæc "the color black," also "ink," from noun use of black (adj.). From late 14c. as "dark spot in the pupil of the eye." The meaning "black person, African" is from 1620s (perhaps late 13c., and blackamoor is from 1540s). To be in the black (1922) is from the accounting practice of recording credits and balances in black ink.

For years it has been a common practice to use red ink instead of black in showing a loss or deficit on corporate books, but not until the heavy losses of 1921 did the contrast in colors come to have a widely understood meaning. ["Saturday Evening Post," July 22, 1922]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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james whyte black in Medicine

Black (blāk), Sir James Whyte. Born 1924.

British pharmacologist. He shared a 1988 Nobel Prize for developing drugs to treat heart disease and stomach and duodenal ulcers.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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james whyte black in Science
British pharmacologist who discovered the first beta-blocker, which led to the development of safer and more effective drugs to treat high blood pressure and heart disease. Black also developed a blocker for gastric acid production that revolutionized the treatment of stomach ulcers. He shared with Gertrude Elion and George Hitchings the 1988 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for james whyte black



  1. Secret: The plans for the Stealth bomber were kept in the military's black budget (1960s+)
  2. Of coffee, without cream or milk

Related Terms

in the black

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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james whyte black in the Bible

properly the absence of all colour. In Prov. 7:9 the Hebrew word means, as in the margin of the Revised Version, "the pupil of the eye." It is translated "apple" of the eye in Deut. 32:10; Ps. 17:8; Prov. 7:2. It is a different word which is rendered "black" in Lev. 13:31,37; Cant. 1:5; 5:11; and Zech. 6:2, 6. It is uncertain what the "black marble" of Esther 1:6 was which formed a part of the mosaic pavement.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with james whyte black
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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