[ blak-leg ]
/ ˈblækˌlɛg /
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verb (used with object), black·legged, black·leg·ging.British Informal.

verb (used without object), black·legged, black·leg·ging.

British Informal. to return to work before a strike is settled.



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Origin of blackleg

First recorded in 1715–25; black + leg; the origin of nonliteral senses is unclear; cf. jackleg
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for blackleg

/ (ˈblæklɛɡ) /


Also called: scab British
  1. a person who acts against the interests of a trade union, as by continuing to work during a strike or taking over a striker's job
  2. (as modifier)blackleg labour
Also called: black quarter an acute infectious disease of cattle, sheep, and pigs, characterized by gas-filled swellings, esp on the legs, caused by Clostridium bacteria
plant pathol
  1. a fungal disease of cabbages and related plants caused by Phoma lingam, characterized by blackening and decay of the lower stems
  2. a similar disease of potatoes, caused by bacteria
a person who cheats in gambling, esp at cards or in racing

verb -legs, -legging or -legged

British to act against the interests of a trade union, esp by refusing to join a strike
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
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