- an obstruction, as of a nerve.
- heart block.
- 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.
- a section of storage locations in a computer allocated to a particular set of instructions or data.
- a group of consecutive machine words organized as a unit and guiding a particular computer operation, especially with reference to input and output.
- (on a flow chart) a symbol representing an operation, device, or instruction in a computer program.
- any large, angular mass of solid rock.
- fault block.
verb (used with object)
- Also block out. to plan or work out the movement of performers in a play, pageant, etc.: Tomorrow we'll block act one.
- to draw a floor plan on (a stage) in order to indicate placement of scenery, stage property, etc.
- to shape (a molten gather) in a wet cup of wood or metal.
- to plunge a block of wood into (molten glass) to aid in refining the glass.
verb (used without object)
- block(def 36a).
- Basketball. to box out.
- bloc québécois,
- bloch, ernest,
- bloch-sulzberger syndrome,
- block and tackle,
- block anesthesia,
- block association,
- block booking,
- block capital
Origin of block
verb (tr, adverb)
- a group of buildings in a city bounded by intersecting streets on each side
- the area or distance between such intersecting streets
- 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
- British a letterpress printing plate, esp one mounted type-high on wood or metal
- a section or quantity, as of tickets or shares, handled or considered as a single unit
- (as modifier)a block booking; block voting
- a stretch of railway in which only one train may travel at a time
- (as modifier)a block signal
verb (mainly tr)
Word Origin for block
"solid piece," c.1300, from Old French bloc "log, block" of wood (13c.), via Middle Dutch bloc "trunk of a tree" or Old High German bloh, from a common Germanic source, from PIE *bhlugo-, from *bhelg- "a thick plank, beam" (see balk).
Meaning "mould for a hat" is from 1570s. Slang sense of "head" is from 1630s. Extended sense of "obstruction" is first recorded 1640s. In cricket from 1825; in U.S. football from 1912. The meaning in city block is 1796, from the notion of a "compact mass" of buildings; slang meaning "fashionable promenade" is 1869.
BLOCK. A term applied in America to a square mass of houses included between four streets. It is a very useful one. [Bartlett]
"obstruct," 1590s, from French bloquer "to block, stop up," from Old French bloc (see block (n.)). Meaning "to make smooth or to give shape on a block" is from 1620s. Stage and theater sense is from 1961. Sense in cricket is from 1772; in U.S. football from 1889. Related: Blocked; blocking.
block and tackle
see chip off the old block; knock someone's block off; on the block; stumbling block.