- 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.
Origin of blackball
SynonymsSee more synonyms for blackball on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for blackballed
Haynes did say he thought all the players were “kind of marked,” but none of them were blackballed.Should the Clippers Just Quit? Lessons From 1965’s Football Strike Against Jim Crow
April 29, 2014
Gallery: Blackballed Politicians, Celebrities, and Journalists Fox will undoubtedly go haywire over the dismissal.Was Juan Williams Fired Unfairly?
October 21, 2010
Such a monstrous Pandarus would have been blackballed at the Pimp.
I have just learned that we were blackballed from the Country Club.
To be blackballed like that, I remembered, was to be proclaimed not a gentleman.
Hence, when an applicant is rejected, he is said to be blackballed.
It was known that Major Appleby Cartwright had blackballed him.Slippy McGee, Sometimes Known as the Butterfly Man
Marie Conway Oemler
- 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
Word Origin and History for blackballed
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.