AskDefine | Define blackball

Dictionary Definition

blackball n : the act of excluding someone by a negative vote or veto [syn: barring]


1 expel from a community or group [syn: banish, ban, ostracize, ostracise, shun, cast out]
2 vote against; refuse to endorse; refuse to assent; "The President vetoed the bill" [syn: veto, negative]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /blæk'bɔːl/


  1. a rejection, a vote against admitting someone
  2. a black ball used to indicate such a negative vote
    Regardless how many other people may have voted to approve a candidate for membership,a single blackball will reject the candidate.
  3. the act of so rejecting someone



  1. to vote against, especially in an exclusive organization
    If you're not from a moneyed, well-connected family, you can count on getting blackballed from the fraternity.
  2. to ostracize


Extensive Definition

Blackball, black-ball or black ball can mean several things:

Society and culture

  • Blackballing, ostracizing someone socially, e.g. prevention of finding local or field-specific employment, blacklisting from a club or other organization, etc. The name derives from an early voting system.


  • Blackball, New Zealand, a small town located on the western coast of the South Island of New Zealand; see also Blackball Branch in the "Transportation" section, below.

Games and sporting

  • Blackball (pool), a variant of pocket billiards, sanctioned by the World Pool-Billiard Association, and popular in the UK and Australia among a few other places, and closely related to the American-style game of eight-ball
  • The or 8 ball in that game and in British pool in general
  • Blackball, a pejorative term used to represent the Black baseball movement including the formation of Negro league baseball


  • "Blackball", a nickname for the letter  i  flag among the international maritime signal flags, featuring a black solid circle on a yellow background, and having specific additional meanings in certain contexts ("no surfing allowed in this area" at lifeguarded beaches, "no diving allowed in this area" at swimming pools, "gale warning" in a harbor, etc.)




  • Black Ball Line, a name for the Puget Sound Navigation Company's ferry system (British Columbia, Canada, and Washington state, US)
  • Black Ball Line (trans-Atlantic packet), a fleet of packet ships running between Liverpool and New York, the first scheduled trans-Atlantic service, founded in 1817
  • Blackball Branch a branch railway line to Blackball, New Zealand (see "Geography" above).


Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

ban, banish, banishment, blackballing, blacklist, boycott, boycottage, cast out, categorically reject, complaint, cut, deport, dim view, disagreement, disallow, disappointment, disapprobation, disapproval, disapprove, disapprove of, discontent, discontentedness, discontentment, disenchantment, disesteem, disfavor, disfellowship, disgruntlement, disillusion, disillusionment, displeasure, disrespect, dissatisfaction, dissent, dissent from, distaste, exclude, exclusion, excommunicate, exile, expatriate, expel, extradite, frown at, frown down, frown upon, fugitate, grimace at, indignation, look askance at, look black upon, low estimation, low opinion, not approve, not go for, not hear of, not hold with, object, object to, objection, oppose, opposition, opposure, ostracism, ostracization, ostracize, outlaw, proscribe, proscription, protest, reject, rejection, relegate, rusticate, say no to, send away, send down, send to Coventry, snub, spurn, take exception to, think ill of, think little of, thrust out, thumb down, thumbs-down, transport, unhappiness, view with disfavor
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1