black eye

See synonyms for black eye on
  1. discoloration of the skin around the eye, resulting from a blow, bruise, etc.

  2. a mark of shame, dishonor, etc.: These slums are a black eye to our town.

  1. damaged reputation: Your behavior will give the family a black eye.

Origin of black eye

First recorded in 1595–1605

Words Nearby black eye Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use black eye in a sentence

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for black eye

black eye

  1. 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

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.