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1. noun A list of names of people, groups, or organizations who are to be banned, censured, or are under suspicion, as in politics, law enforcement, business, labor unions, etc. The country's government maintains a blacklist of people it deems dangerous. The company circulates a blacklist every year among its employees so they know not to offer jobs or information to people whose views run contrary to its values.
2. verb To put someone on a blacklist, that is, a list of names of people, groups, or organizations who are to be banned, censured, or are under suspicion. The influential writer was blacklisted early in her career for denouncing certain policies of the federal government. If you keep getting into fights there, the bar will eventually blacklist you.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
A list of persons or things considered undesirable or deserving punishment, as in Japanese beetles are on my black list of garden pests. The practice of making such lists is quite old. Notorious examples include the late 19th-century black lists of union members whom employers would not hire and the black lists of persons suspected of being Communists as a result of the hearings held by Senator Joseph R. McCarthy in the early 1950s. Today the term is also used more loosely, as in the example. [Early 1600s] Also see black book, def. 1.
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.