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look black

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Appear threatening or unfavorable, as in The future looked black for Henry after he dropped out of school. This expression employs black in the sense of “boding ill,” a usage dating from about 1700. Also see under dirty look.

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

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