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black book

a book of names of people liable to censure or punishment.
in someone's black books, in disfavor with someone.
Origin of black book
First recorded in 1470-80 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for black book
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At this minute there is a black book that looks down upon me like a crow.

    Journeys to Bagdad

    Charles S. Brooks
  • The Black Spectre, with a black book under its arm, drew nearer.

    The Friendly Road (AKA David Grayson) Ray Stannard Baker
  • It had disappeared just as mysteriously as the pages torn from the black book.

    The Hero of Garside School

    J. Harwood Panting
  • The pages from the black book, as being useless, had been destroyed.

    The Hero of Garside School

    J. Harwood Panting
  • Peggy is a dear black book which belonged to mother when she was a little girl.

    Dimbie and I--and Amelia Mabel Barnes-Grundy
  • When their day is over and their credit is gone there is an entry in the black book.

    In Vanity Fair

    Eleanor Hoyt Brainerd
  • "A red and black book" means one book, "a red and a black book" means two.

    Word Study and English Grammar Frederick W. Hamilton
British Dictionary definitions for black book

black book

a book containing the names of people to be punished, blacklisted, etc
(informal) in someone's black books, out of favour with someone
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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Slang definitions & phrases for black book

black book

Related Terms

little black book

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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Idioms and Phrases with black book

black book

A list of persons or things out of favor, as in Tom's in my black book these days . This usage dates from the 14th century and in time became more ominous. In 1536 the agents of King Henry VIII wrote in a black book the names of those to be censured or punished, specifically “sinful” English monasteries (whose lands Henry wanted to acquire). Today being in someone's black book still signifies being in trouble, at least with that person. Also see black list
Also,little black book. A personal telephone directory listing girlfriends, or, less often, boyfriends. For example, Now that he's engaged to Ellen, Jim won't be needing his little black book. [ 1930s ]
A list of measures or facts involved in the unfriendly takeover of one company by another. This usage is employed mainly in business and commerce. [ c. 1980 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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