Nearby words

  1. bloc québécois,
  2. bloc-vote,
  3. bloch,
  4. bloch, ernest,
  5. bloch-sulzberger syndrome,
  6. block and tackle,
  7. block anesthesia,
  8. block association,
  9. block booking,
  10. block capital


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

Origin of block

1275–1325; Middle English blok log, stump (< Middle French bloc) < Middle Dutch blok; perhaps akin to balk

Related formsblock·a·ble, adjectivere·block, verb (used with object)sub·block, nounun·blocked, adjective

Can be confusedbloc block Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for block in

block in


(tr, adverb) to sketch in outline, with little detail



a large solid piece of wood, stone, or other material with flat rectangular sides, as for use in building
any large solid piece of wood, stone, etc, usually having at least one face fairly flat
such a piece on which particular tasks may be done, as chopping, cutting, or beheading
Also called: building block one of a set of wooden or plastic cubes as a child's toy
a form on which things are shaped or displayeda wig block
slang a person's head (esp in the phrase knock someone's block off)
do one's block Australian and NZ slang to become angry
a dull, unemotional, or hardhearted person
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
Australian and NZ an area of land for a house, farm, etc
Australian and NZ a log, usually a willow, fastened to a timber base and used in a wood-chopping competition
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. Britisha letterpress printing plate, esp one mounted type-high on wood or metal
a casing housing one or more freely rotating pulleysSee also block and tackle
on the block mainly US and Canadian up for auction
the act of obstructing or condition of being obstructed, as in sports
an obstruction or hindrance
  1. interference in the normal physiological functioning of an organ or part
  2. See heart block
  3. See nerve block
psychol a short interruption of perceptual or thought processes
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
an unseparated group of four or more postage stampsCompare strip 1 (def. 3)
a pad of paper
computing a group of words treated as a unit of data on a tape, disk, etc
athletics short for starting block
cricket a mark made near the popping crease by a batsman to indicate his position in relation to the wicket
a chip off the old block informal a person who resembles one of his or her parents in behaviour

verb (mainly tr)

to shape or form (something) into a block
to fit with or mount on a block
to shape by use of a blockto block a hat
(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 obstacleto block the traffic; to block up a pipe
to impede, retard, or prevent (an action, procedure, etc)
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
(esp of a government or central bank) to limit the use or conversion of assets or currency
(also intr) sport to obstruct or impede movement by (an opponent)
(intr) to suffer a psychological block
to interrupt a physiological function, as by use of an anaesthetic
(also intr) cricket to play (a ball) defensively

Derived Formsblocker, noun

Word Origin for block

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

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 block in
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for block in




Interruption, especially obstruction, of a normal physiological function.
Interruption, complete or partial, permanent or temporary, of the passage of a nervous impulse.
Atrioventricular block.
Sudden cessation of speech or a thought process without an immediate observable cause, sometimes considered a consequence of repression.


To arrest passage through; obstruct.
Related formsblockage (blŏkĭj) n.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for block in

block and tackle


An arrangement of pulleys and ropes used to reduce the amount of force needed to move heavy loads. One pulley is attached to the load, and rope or chains connect this pulley to a fixed pulley. Each pulley may have multiple grooves or wheels for the rope to pass over numerous times. Pulling the rope or chain slowly draws the load-bearing pulley toward the fixed one with high mechanical advantage.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with block in


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

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