Black box
Black box Black" box` (bl[a^]k"b[o^]ks`), n. 1. any electronic instrument or part of an instrument whose function is defined, but which is treated as a unit without consideration of the internal mechanisms; broadly, any device whose internal workings are considered as incomprehensible or mysterious by the user; as, to treat the meter as a black box and take its readings on faith. [PJC]

2. (aviation) a device which maintains a record of cockpit conversations and the readings of many of the instruments on board an aircraft, continuously or at frequent time intervals during a flight. It is of rugged design to withstand a violent crash, and is used to determine the causes of aircraft accidents.

Note: They are often brightly colored to assist recovery, not actually black. [PJC]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • black box — ˌblack ˈbox noun [countable] informal 1. an electronic unit that records information on an aircraft about its height, speed etc. If the plane crashes, the black box can be examined to find the causes: • Data from the black box recovered from the… …   Financial and business terms

  • Black Box — oder Blackbox (engl. blæk bɒks ‚schwarzer Kasten‘) steht für: Black Box (Systemtheorie), ein geschlossenes System unter Vernachlässigung des inneren Aufbaus, siehe dort auch zur Wortherkunft einen dunklen und schallisolierten Raum, siehe Camera… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • black box — black boxes 1) N COUNT A black box is an electronic device in an aircraft which records information about its flights. Black boxes are often used to provide evidence about accidents. 2) N COUNT: usu sing You can refer to a system or device as a… …   English dictionary

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  • black box — n informal a piece of equipment on an aircraft that records what happens on a flight and can be used to discover the cause of accidents = ↑flight recorder …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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