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black and white

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noun
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Other definitions for black and white (2 of 2)

black-and-white
[ blak-uhn-hwahyt, -wahyt ]
/ ˈblæk ənˈʰwaɪt, -ˈwaɪt /

adjective
displaying only black and white tones; without color, as a picture or chart: a black-and-white photograph.
partly black and partly white; made up of separate areas or design elements of black and white: black-and-white shoes.
of, relating to, or constituting a two-valued system, as of logic or morality; absolute: To those who think in black-and-white terms, a person must be either entirely good or entirely bad.

Origin of black-and-white

First recorded in 1590–1600
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use black and white in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for black and white

black-and-white

noun
  1. a photograph, picture, sketch, etc, in black, white, and shades of grey rather than in colour
  2. (as modifier)black-and-white film
the neutral tones of black, white, and intermediate shades of greyCompare colour (def. 2)
in black and white
  1. in print or writing
  2. in extremeshe always saw things in black and white
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with black and white

black and white

1

A monochromatic picture, drawing, television image, computer monitor, or film, as opposed to one using many colors, as in Photos in black and white fade less than those taken with color film. [Late 1800s]

2

Also, black or white. Involving a very clear distinction, without any gradations. For example, He tended to view everything as a black and white issue—it was either right or wrong—whereas his partner always found gray areas. This usage is based on the association of black with evil and white with virtue, which dates back at least 2,000 years. [Early 1800s] Also see gray area.

3

in black and white. Written down or in print, and therefore official. For example, The terms of our agreement were spelled out in black and white, so there should be no question about it. This term alludes to black ink or print on white paper. Shakespeare used it in Much Ado about Nothing (5:1). [Late 1500s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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