1. an entertainer, especially in a minstrel or vaudeville show, made up in the role of a black person. By the mid-20th century, these entertainers had declined in popularity because their comic portrayal of negative racial stereotypes was considered offensive.
  2. the facial makeup, as burnt cork, used in this role: They performed in blackface.
Printing. a heavy-faced type, usually darker than boldface.

Origin of blackface

First recorded in 1695–1705; black + face Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for blackface

makeup, greasepaint

Examples from the Web for blackface

Contemporary Examples of blackface

Historical Examples of blackface

British Dictionary definitions for blackface



  1. a performer made up to imitate a Black person
  2. the make-up used by such a performer, usually consisting of burnt cork
a breed of sheep having a dark face
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