[ blak-feys ]
See synonyms for blackface on
  1. Theater.

    • 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.

    • facial makeup, as burnt cork, used in this role: They appeared in blackface.

    • imitation of Black skin tone, speech, traditional dress, etc., by a person who is not Black: White rappers are performing vocal blackface when they rap in a dialect they appropriated from the African American community.

  2. Printing. a heavy-faced type, usually darker than boldface.

Origin of blackface

First recorded in 1695–1705; black + face

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

How to use blackface in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for blackface


/ (ˈblækˌfeɪs) /

    • a performer made up to imitate a Black person

    • the make-up used by such a performer, usually consisting of burnt cork

  1. 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