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look black

Appear threatening or unfavorable, as in The future looked black for Henry after he dropped out of school . This expression employs black in the sense of “boding ill,” a usage dating from about 1700. Also see under dirty look
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Examples from the Web for look black
Historical Examples
  • Wescott managed to get two more runs, as the players were “finding” Tom, and things began to look black for the visiting team.

    Batting to Win Lester Chadwick
  • "I will not stay away," he had replied, with a look black as a thundercloud.

    Orley Farm Anthony Trollope
  • When they saw the new-comer and how he was made, and when they heard him crying too, they began to look black at him.

    Children's Literature Charles Madison Curry
  • The ferrule will look black when this happens and will thus be recognized.

    Elements of Plumbing Samuel Dibble
  • One young negro who came to be photographed expressly stipulated that he should not be made to look black.

  • Have an eye to the band and you will see if many of them look black or gray.

    The Wild Turkey and Its Hunting Edward A. McIlhenny
  • The heat and anxiety seemed too much for him, and despair made everything now look black; he could see no ray of light.

    The Black Bar George Manville Fenn
  • Nearly all of them look black and white as they sail about in the air.

    The Children's Book of Birds Olive Thorne Miller
  • The fells of Furness look black and bold, and the windings of the Lune are clearly traced out.

    The Lancashire Witches William Harrison Ainsworth
  • This is a fact; but we sometimes desire to employ blue on black, and wish the black to look black, and not an orange-black.

    Principles of Decorative Design Christopher Dresser

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