[ blak-bur-ding ]

  1. History/Historical. the act or practice of kidnapping people, especially Pacific Islanders, and selling them into slavery abroad, usually in Australia.

Origin of blackbirding

First recorded in 1870–75; blackbird + -ing1

Words Nearby blackbirding Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use blackbirding in a sentence

  • I sailed in the teak-built ketch, the Minota, on a blackbirding cruise to Malaita, and I took my wife along.

    Jerry of the Islands | Jack London
  • Whalers introduced a terrible disease; Bully Hayes, as will be presently related, found it a virgin field for "blackbirding."

    Savage Island | Basil C. Thomson
  • A Solomon Islander, who had got there during the days when blackbirding or kidnapping was common, moved among them.

    The Pacific Triangle | Sydney Greenbie
  • What, and be sent down here hunting after the blackbirding blackguards?

    The Ocean Cat's Paw | George Manville Fenn
  • The traders were only too glad to get new recruits without the expense of blackbirding them.