View synonyms for block



[ blok ]


  1. a solid mass of wood, stone, etc., usually with one or more flat or approximately flat faces.
  2. a hollow masonry building unit of cement, terracotta, etc.:

    a wall made of concrete blocks.

  3. one of a set of cube-shaped pieces of wood, plastic, or the like, used as a child's toy in building.
  4. a mold or piece on which something is shaped or kept in shape:

    a hat block.

  5. a piece of wood used in the art of making woodcuts or wood engravings.
  6. Printing. the base on which a plate is mounted to make it type-high.
  7. a projection left on a squared stone to provide a means of lifting it.
  8. a short length of plank serving as a bridging, as between joists.
  9. a stump or wooden structure on which a condemned person is beheaded:

    Mary Stuart went bravely to the block.

  10. Machinery. a part enclosing one or more freely rotating, grooved pulleys, about which ropes or chains pass to form a hoisting or hauling tackle.
  11. an obstacle, obstruction, or hindrance:

    His stubbornness is a block to all my efforts.

    Synonyms: jam, stoppage, barrier, blockade, impediment

  12. the state or condition of being obstructed; blockage:

    The traffic block lasted several hours.

  13. Pathology.
    1. an obstruction, as of a nerve.
  14. Sports. a hindering of an opponent's actions.
  15. a quantity, portion, or section taken as a unit or dealt with at one time:

    a large block of theater tickets.

  16. a small section of a city, town, etc., enclosed by neighboring and intersecting streets:

    She lives on my block.

  17. the length of one side of such a section:

    We walked two blocks over.

  18. Chiefly British. a large building divided into separate apartments, offices, shops, etc.
  19. a large number of bonds or shares of stock sold together as a single unit.
  20. Computers.
    1. a group of data stored as a unit on an external storage medium and handled as a unit by the computer for input or output:

      This file has 20 records per block.

    2. a section of storage locations in a computer allocated to a particular set of instructions or data.
    3. a group of consecutive machine words organized as a unit and guiding a particular computer operation, especially with reference to input and output.
    4. (on a flow chart) a symbol representing an operation, device, or instruction in a computer program.
  21. Railroads. any of the short lengths into which a track is divided for signaling purposes.
  22. Philately. a group of four or more unseparated stamps, not in a strip.
  23. Slang. a person's head.
  24. Glassmaking. a wooden or metal cup for blocking a gather.
  25. an obstruction or stoppage in mental processes or speech, especially when related to stress, emotional conflict, etc.
  26. Geology.
    1. any large, angular mass of solid rock.
  27. (in Canada) a wild or remote area of land that has not yet been surveyed:

    the Peace River block.

  28. Automotive. cylinder block.
  29. Falconry. a low perch to which a falcon is tethered outdoors.

verb (used with object)

  1. to obstruct (someone or something) by placing obstacles in the way (sometimes followed by up ):

    to block one's exit;

    to block up a passage.

    Synonyms: stop, deter, hinder, impede, blockade, close

  2. to fit with blocks; mount on a block.
  3. to shape or prepare on or with a block:

    to block a hat;

    to block a sweater.

  4. to join (the ends of boards or the like) by fastening to a block of wood.
  5. Theater.
    1. Also block out. to plan or work out the movement of performers in a play, pageant, etc.:

      Tomorrow we'll block act one.

    2. to draw a floor plan on (a stage) in order to indicate placement of scenery, stage property, etc.
  6. Pathology, Physiology. to stop the passage of impulses in (a nerve).
  7. Computers. to group (contiguous data) together so as to allow to be read or written in a single operation.
  8. Sports. to hinder or bar the actions or movements of (an opposing player), especially legitimately.
  9. Glassmaking.
    1. to shape (a molten gather) in a wet cup of wood or metal.
    2. to plunge a block of wood into (molten glass) to aid in refining the glass.
  10. Metalworking. to give (a forging) a rough form before finishing.
  11. Electronics. to apply a high negative bias to the grid of (a vacuum tube), for reducing the plate current to zero.

verb (used without object)

  1. to act so as to obstruct an opponent, as in football, hockey, and basketball:

    He doesn't get many baskets, but he sure can block.

  2. Theater. to block a play, act, scene, stage, etc.:

    The director will block tomorrow.

  3. to suffer a block.

verb phrase

  1. to sketch or outline roughly or generally, without details:

    She blocked out a color scheme for the interiors.

    1. Basketball. to box out.



[ blok ]


  1. Herbert Lawrence Herblock, 1909–2001, U.S. cartoonist.


/ blɒk /


  1. a large solid piece of wood, stone, or other material with flat rectangular sides, as for use in building
  2. any large solid piece of wood, stone, etc, usually having at least one face fairly flat
  3. such a piece on which particular tasks may be done, as chopping, cutting, or beheading
  4. Also calledbuilding block one of a set of wooden or plastic cubes as a child's toy
  5. a form on which things are shaped or displayed

    a wig block

  6. slang.
    a person's head (esp in the phrase knock someone's block off )
  7. do one's block slang.
    to become angry
  8. a dull, unemotional, or hardhearted person
  9. a large building of offices, flats, etc
    1. a group of buildings in a city bounded by intersecting streets on each side
    2. the area or distance between such intersecting streets
  10. an area of land for a house, farm, etc
  11. a log, usually a willow, fastened to a timber base and used in a wood-chopping competition
  12. an area of land, esp one to be divided for building or settling
    1. a piece of wood, metal, or other material having an engraved, cast, or carved design in relief, used either for printing or for stamping book covers, etc
    2. a letterpress printing plate, esp one mounted type-high on wood or metal
  13. a casing housing one or more freely rotating pulleys See also block and tackle
  14. on the block
    up for auction
  15. the act of obstructing or condition of being obstructed, as in sports
  16. an obstruction or hindrance
  17. pathol
    1. interference in the normal physiological functioning of an organ or part
  18. psychol a short interruption of perceptual or thought processes
  19. obstruction of an opponent in a sport
    1. a section or quantity, as of tickets or shares, handled or considered as a single unit
    2. ( as modifier )

      a block booking

      block voting

    1. a stretch of railway in which only one train may travel at a time
    2. ( as modifier )

      a block signal

  20. an unseparated group of four or more postage stamps Compare strip 1
  21. a pad of paper
  22. computing a group of words treated as a unit of data on a tape, disk, etc
  23. athletics short for starting block
  24. cricket a mark made near the popping crease by a batsman to indicate his position in relation to the wicket
  25. a chip off the old block informal.
    a person who resembles one of his or her parents in behaviour


  1. to shape or form (something) into a block
  2. to fit with or mount on a block
  3. to shape by use of a block

    to block a hat

  4. often foll by up to obstruct (a passage, channel, etc) or prevent or impede the motion or flow of (something or someone) by introducing an obstacle

    to block up a pipe

    to block the traffic

  5. to impede, retard, or prevent (an action, procedure, etc)
  6. to stamp (a title, design, etc) on (a book cover, etc) by means of a block (see sense 12), esp using gold leaf or other foil
  7. (esp of a government or central bank) to limit the use or conversion of assets or currency
  8. also intr sport to obstruct or impede movement by (an opponent)
  9. intr to suffer a psychological block
  10. to interrupt a physiological function, as by use of an anaesthetic
  11. also intr cricket to play (a ball) defensively
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Derived Forms

  • ˈblocker, noun
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Other Words From

  • block·a·ble adjective
  • re·block verb (used with object)
  • sub·block noun
  • un·blocked adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of block1

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English blok “log, stump,” from Middle French bloc, from Middle Dutch blok; perhaps akin to balk
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Word History and Origins

Origin of block1

C14: from Old French bloc , from Dutch blok ; related to Old High German bloh
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Idioms and Phrases

  1. put / go on the block, to offer or be offered for sale at auction:

    to put family heirlooms on the block.

More idioms and phrases containing block

see chip off the old block ; knock someone's block off ; on the block ; stumbling block .
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Example Sentences

The block highlighted in red was the one above which the blocks were no longer balanced.

Some will guard from their cars, while others will pace around the block, flashlights in hand.

Since larger blocks of ice take longer to melt, this system can safely be used over long periods during entertaining without added refrigeration.

Whetstones are essentially blocks of sandpaper in different textures.

Some volunteers drive more than an hour to walk these blocks — largely deserted by a combination of fear and pandemic lockdown — to hand out bilingual fliers that explain how to report a crime to police.

Church bells pealed from St. Catherine of Siena parish one block away.

During his trek, Brinsley twice passed within a block of a police stationhouse and he almost certainly saw cops along the way.

Block 3F is slated for release in 2019, but who knows how much that will slip?

After walking block after block holding that container, he had suddenly discarded it and was now clutching a gun.

If someone wants to ensure a direct and secure connection, no entity, whether a hotel or otherwise, should be able to block it.

The Spanish troops did not care to venture past a block of buildings in which were the offices and stores of a British firm.

The upper block was left a little thicker, the junction or root of the neck necessitating this.

The long unbroken block had as many and as various stores as are generally spread over the entire area of a town.

It had been very scanty information and late in its arrival—too late to enable the master manhunter to block the plan.

How I do wish sometimes to give Ritchie a jog, when there is some stumbling-block that he sticks fast at.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.