black market


the illicit buying and selling of goods in violation of legal price controls, rationing, etc.
a place where such activity is carried on.



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Origin of black market

First recorded in 1930–35

Definition for black market (2 of 2)

[ blak-mahr-kit ]
/ ˈblækˈmɑr kɪt /

verb (used without object)

to black-marketeer.

verb (used with object)

to sell (something) in the black market.

Origin of black-market

First recorded in 1930–35; v. use of black market Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for black market

British Dictionary definitions for black market

black market


  1. any system in which goods or currencies are sold and bought illegally, esp in violation of controls or rationing
  2. (as modifier)black market lamb
the place where such a system operates

verb black-market

to sell (goods) on the black market

Derived forms of black market

black marketeer, noun
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

Cultural definitions for black market

black market

The illegal buying and selling of goods above the price fixed by a government. Black markets usually develop when, because of war, disaster, or public policy, a government tries to set prices for commodities instead of allowing the normal operations of supply and demand to set prices.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.