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black letter

noun, Printing.
a heavy-faced type in a style like that of early European hand lettering and the earliest printed books.
Also called text.
Origin of black letter
First recorded in 1630-40
Related forms
black-letter, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for black letter

black letter

(printing) another name for Gothic (sense 10)
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 black letter

early 17c., from black (adj.); so called to distinguish heavy, old-style printers' types from the ones coming into use then, which are the dominant modern forms, though a style of black letter was preserved in German into 20c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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