black book


noun

a book of names of people liable to censure or punishment.

QUIZZES

TAKE THIS QUIZ TO SEE WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL PUNCTUATION!

Commas mark divisions in sentences. Periods end declarative sentences. Apostrophes show possession. Easy, right? Well, punctuation can get pretty tricky—fast. Think you got what it takes to be a punctuation expert? Take our quiz to prove it!
Question 1 of 10
Which of the options below is the best punctuation for the sentence? It__s your turn to pick the movie __ but your sister gets to pick the board game we _ re going to play.

Idioms for black book

    in someone's black books, in disfavor with someone.

Origin of black book

First recorded in 1470–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for black book

black book

noun

a book containing the names of people to be punished, blacklisted, etc
in someone's black books informal 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

Idioms and Phrases with black book

black book

1

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.

2

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]

3

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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.