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1. Literal discoloration in the area surrounding the eye(s) due to an accumulation of blood. He had a pretty bad black eye after the bully punched him in the face. I had two black eyes for several days after my car accident.
2. By extension, a blemish to one's reputation. That food critic's negative review really gave a black eye to my restaurant.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. Lit. a bruise near the eye from being struck. (*Typically have ~; get ~; give someone ~.) I got a black eye from walking into a door. I have a black eye where John hit me.
2. Fig. harm done to one's character. (*Typically have ~; get ~; give someone ~.) Mary got a black eye because of her constant complaining. The whole group now has a black eye, and it will take years to recover our reputation.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
A mark of shame, a humiliating setback, as in That there are enough homeless folks to need another shelter is a black eye for the administration . This metaphor alludes to having discolored flesh around the eye resulting from a blow. The term is also used literally, as in The mugger not only took Bill's wallet but gave him a black eye. [Late 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
a black ˈeyean area of dark skin (= a bruise) around the eye caused by an accident, somebody hitting you, etc: How did you get that black eye?
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
n. a moral blemish; an injury to the prestige of someone or something. That kind of behavior can give us all a black eye.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.