- a list of persons under suspicion, disfavor, censure, etc.: His record as an anarchist put him on the government's blacklist.
- a list privately exchanged among employers, containing the names of persons to be barred from employment because of untrustworthiness or for holding opinions considered undesirable.
- a list drawn up by a labor union, containing the names of employers to be boycotted for unfair labor practices.
- to put (a person, group, company, etc.) on a blacklist.
Origin of blacklist
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a list of persons or organizations under suspicion, or considered untrustworthy, disloyal, etc, esp one compiled by a government or an organization
- (tr) to put on a blacklist
Word Origin and History for black list
also black-list, black list, "list of persons who have incurred suspicion," 1610s, from black (adj.), here indicative of disgrace, censure, punishment (attested from 1590s, in black book) + list (n.). Specifically of employers' list of workers considered troublesome (usually for union activity) is from 1888. As a verb, from 1718. Related: Blacklisted; blacklisting.
Concerted action by employers to deny employment to someone suspected of unacceptable opinions or behavior. For example, individual workers suspected of favoring labor unions have often been blacklisted by all the employers in a region.
Idioms and Phrases with black list
A list of persons or things considered undesirable or deserving punishment, as in Japanese beetles are on my black list of garden pests. The practice of making such lists is quite old. Notorious examples include the late 19th-century black lists of union members whom employers would not hire and the black lists of persons suspected of being Communists as a result of the hearings held by Senator Joseph R. McCarthy in the early 1950s. Today the term is also used more loosely, as in the example. [Early 1600s] Also see black book, def. 1.