to vote against (a candidate, applicant, etc.).
to exclude socially; ostracize: The whole town blackballed them.
to reject (a candidate) by placing a blackball in the ballot box.
a negative vote, especially in deciding on an applicant or candidate.
a black ball placed in a ballot box signifying a negative vote.
- blackballer, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use blackball in a sentence
A radio executive said the Bush White House told them explicitly who they were expected to blackball from their airwaves.
Citi, however, is setting the standard, as epitomized by its Mike Mayo blackball.
How had he, a useless old fogy, dared to blackball a man like Iver?Tristram of Blent | Anthony Hope
Do not they abuse you behind your back, and blackball you at societies where they have had the honour to propose you?Tancred | Benjamin Disraeli
You may be sure some of the proud people and most of the parvenus of the Club were ready to blackball him.The Book of Snobs | William Makepeace Thackeray
They let a victim go there until they get all and then they blackball him.The Vice Bondage of a Great City or the Wickedest City in the World | Robert O. Harland
If a ballot should be demanded the members will all vote, and one blackball will exclude.The Sportswoman's Library, Vol. 1 of 2 | Various
British Dictionary definitions for blackball
a negative vote or veto
a black wooden ball used to indicate disapproval or to veto in a vote
NZ a hard boiled sweet with black-and-white stripes
to vote against in a ballot
to exclude (someone) from a group, profession, etc; ostracize
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 blackball
A rejection of an applicant's membership in a private organization, such as a club or fraternity. The term is derived from the traditional practice of members voting anonymously on admitting new members, using either a white marble (acceptance) or a black marble (denial). Acceptance must be unanimous; therefore, one black marble in the ballot box is enough to keep the applicant out of the organization.
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.