See more synonyms for blackjack on
  1. a short, leather-covered club, consisting of a heavy head on a flexible handle, used as a weapon.
  2. Cards.
    1. twenty-one(def 4).
    2. Also called natural.(in twenty-one) an ace together with a ten or a face card as the first two cards dealt.
    3. a variety of twenty-one in which any player can become dealer.
  3. black flag(defs 1, 2).
  4. a small oak, Quercus marilandica, of the eastern U.S., having a nearly black bark and a wood of little value except for fuel.
  5. a large drinking cup or jug for beer, ale, etc., originally made of leather coated externally with tar.Compare bombard(def 7).
  6. caramel or burnt sugar for coloring spirits, vinegar, coffee, etc.
  7. Mineralogy. a dark, iron-rich variety of sphalerite.
verb (used with object)
  1. to strike or beat with a blackjack.
  2. to compel by threat.

Origin of blackjack

First recorded in 1505–15; black + jack1


[pur-shing or for 2, -zhing]
  1. John JosephBlackjack, 1860–1948, U.S. general: commander of the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I.
  2. Military.
    1. a 46-ton (42 metric tons) U.S. heavy tank of 1944–52, with a five-man crew and a 90mm gun.
    2. a two-stage surface-to-surface ballistic missile. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for blackjack

intimidate, pressure, force, influence, threaten

Examples from the Web for blackjack

Contemporary Examples of blackjack

Historical Examples of blackjack

  • "On we went then," said Aylward, after a long pull at his blackjack.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • There would be a game of blackjack going on somewhere there about now.

    The Martian Cabal

    Roman Frederick Starzl

  • The fact that it had been a blackjack that had hit him was important.

    Out Like a Light

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • I must have that girl, dad, or this town is a blackjack swamp forevermore.

  • "Blackjack" Donnely had made that clear in his trial in Texas.

    The Penal Cluster

    Ivar Jorgensen (AKA Randall Garrett)

British Dictionary definitions for blackjack


  1. a truncheon of leather-covered lead with a flexible shaft
  1. (tr) to hit with or as if with a blackjack
  2. (tr) to compel (a person) by threats

Word Origin for blackjack

C19: from black + jack 1 (implement)


noun cards
  1. pontoon or any of various similar card games
  2. the ace of spades

Word Origin for blackjack

C20: from black + jack 1 (the knave)


  1. a dark iron-rich variety of the mineral sphalerite

Word Origin for blackjack

C18: from black + jack 1 (originally a miner's name for this useless ore)


  1. a small oak tree, Quercus marilandica, of the southeastern US, with blackish bark and fan-shaped leavesAlso called: blackjack oak

Word Origin for blackjack

C19: from black + jack 1 (from the proper name, popularly used in many plant names)


  1. a tarred leather tankard or jug

Word Origin for blackjack

C16: from black + jack ³


  1. John Joseph, nickname Black Jack. 1860–1948, US general. He was commander in chief of the American Expeditionary Force in Europe (1917–19)


  1. a US ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear or conventional warhead
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

Word Origin and History for blackjack

used in many senses since 16c., earliest is possibly "tar-coated leather jug for beer" (1590s), from black (adj.) + jack in any of its many slang senses. The weapon so called from 1889; the card game by 1900.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper