discoloration of the skin around the eye, resulting from a blow, bruise, etc.
a mark of shame, dishonor, etc.: These slums are a black eye to our town.
damaged reputation: Your behavior will give the family a black eye.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use black eye in a sentence
In America, low turnout is the new black eye for a country founded on “no taxation without representation.”
His black eye had ignited rumors he was being brutalized in custody.Death of JFK Spawned an Industry That Thrived for Decades | Richard Woodward | November 24, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Why do we think selfies are such a black eye on the face of humanity?In Defense of the Selfie, Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year | James Poulos | November 20, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
The result has been a huge black eye for the government, which will now incur significant financial and reputation costs.
But Hermann may represent one black eye too many for Barchi and the public university.Why Rutgers’s Julie Hermann Disaster Means Trouble for the President | Lizzie Crocker | May 30, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Nor did Ethel know that that caricature had been the cause of the black eye that Harry had brought home last summer.The Daisy Chain | Charlotte Yonge
Mrs. Macauley writes her all about him every week, only she probably didn't mention the black eye.Red Pepper Burns | Grace S. Richmond
The noble blackbird, with full black eye, pecks at the decaying apples upon the sward, and takes no heed of a footstep.The Hills and the Vale | Richard Jefferies
But Sidney, on the third day, came back with a black eye, and he would return no more.Night and Morning, Complete | Edward Bulwer-Lytton
He would have passed in comic opera anywhere; but the dart of his black eye was keen, his voice crisp and assured.Where the Pavement Ends | John Russell
British Dictionary definitions for black eye
bruising round the eye
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 eye
A mark of shame, a humiliating setback, as in That there are enough homeless folks to need another shelter is a black eye for the administration. This metaphor alludes to having discolored flesh around the eye resulting from a blow. The term is also used literally, as in The mugger not only took Bill's wallet but gave him a black eye. [Late 1800s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.