Block Block (bl[o^]k), n. [OE. blok; cf. F. bloc (fr. OHG.), D. & Dan. blok, Sw. & G. block, OHG. bloch. There is also an OHG. bloch, biloh; bi by + the same root as that of E. lock. Cf. {Block}, v. t., {Blockade}, and see {Lock}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A piece of wood more or less bulky; a solid mass of wood, stone, etc., usually with one or more plane, or approximately plane, faces; as, a block on which a butcher chops his meat; a block by which to mount a horse; children's playing blocks, etc. [1913 Webster]

Now all our neighbors' chimneys smoke, And Christmas blocks are burning. --Wither. [1913 Webster]

All her labor was but as a block Left in the quarry. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

2. The solid piece of wood on which condemned persons lay their necks when they are beheaded. [1913 Webster]

Noble heads which have been brought to the block. --E. Everett. [1913 Webster]

3. The wooden mold on which hats, bonnets, etc., are shaped. Hence: The pattern or shape of a hat. [1913 Webster]

He wears his faith but as the fashion of his hat; it ever changes with the next block. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

4. A large or long building divided into separate houses or shops, or a number of houses or shops built in contact with each other so as to form one building; a row of houses or shops. [1913 Webster]

5. A square, or portion of a city inclosed by streets, whether occupied by buildings or not. [1913 Webster]

The new city was laid out in rectangular blocks, each block containing thirty building lots. Such an average block, comprising 282 houses and covering nine acres of ground, exists in Oxford Street. --Lond. Quart. Rev. [1913 Webster]

6. A grooved pulley or sheave incased in a frame or shell which is provided with a hook, eye, or strap, by which it may be attached to an object. It is used to change the direction of motion, as in raising a heavy object that can not be conveniently reached, and also, when two or more such sheaves are compounded, to change the rate of motion, or to exert increased force; -- used especially in the rigging of ships, and in tackles. [1913 Webster]

7. (Falconry) The perch on which a bird of prey is kept. [1913 Webster]

8. Any obstruction, or cause of obstruction; a stop; a hindrance; an obstacle; -- also called {blockage}; as, a block in the way; a block in an artery; a block in a nerve; a block in a biochemical pathway. [1913 Webster]

9. A piece of box or other wood for engravers' work. [1913 Webster]

10. (Print.) A piece of hard wood (as mahogany or cherry) on which a stereotype or electrotype plate is mounted to make it type high. [1913 Webster]

11. A blockhead; a stupid fellow; a dolt. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

What a block art thou ! --Shak. [1913 Webster]

12. A section of a railroad where the block system is used. See {Block system}, below. [1913 Webster]

13. In Australia, one of the large lots into which public land, when opened to settlers, is divided by the government surveyors. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

14. (Cricket) (a) The position of a player or bat when guarding the wicket. (b) A block hole. (c) The popping crease. [R.] [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

15. a number of individual items sold as a unit; as, a block of airline ticketes; a block of hotel rooms; a block of stock. [PJC]

16. the length of one side of a city block[5], traversed along any side; as, to walk three blocks ahead and turn left at the corner. [PJC]

17. a halt in a mental process, especially one due to stress, memory lapse, confusion, etc.; as, a writer's block; to have a block in remembering a name. [PJC]

18. (computers) a quantity of binary-encoded information transferred, or stored, as a unit to, from, or on a data storage device; as, to divide a disk into 512-byte blocks. [PJC]

19. (computers) a number of locations in a random-access memory allocated to storage of specific data; as, to allocate a block of 1024 bytes for the stack. [PJC]

{A block of shares} (Stock Exchange), a large number of shares in a stock company, sold in a lump. --Bartlett.

{Block printing}. (a) A mode of printing (common in China and Japan) from engraved boards by means of a sheet of paper laid on the linked surface and rubbed with a brush. --S. W. Williams. (b) A method of printing cotton cloth and paper hangings with colors, by pressing them upon an engraved surface coated with coloring matter.

{Block system} on railways, a system by which the track is divided into sections of three or four miles, and trains are so run by the guidance of electric signals that no train enters a section or block before the preceding train has left it.

{Back blocks}, Australian pastoral country which is remote from the seacoast or from a river. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

, , , , , , , , , (as of wood or stone), / , , (on a block), (on which objects are made) / , , , , , / (in a square or a continuous row), / , / , / (in fig. sense), , / , , ,

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • block — block·ad·er; block·ad·ing; block·age; block; block·er; block·flö·te; block·head·ism; block·i·ly; block·ish; block·man; block·ship; de·block; su·per·block; un·block; block·bust·ing; block·ade; chock·a·block; block·head·ed·ly; block·head·ed·ness;… …   English syllables

  • block — [bläk] n. [ME blokke < OFr bloc & MDu block < IE * bhlugo < base * bhel , a thick plank, beam > BALK, Gr phalanx, L fulcrum] 1. any large, solid piece of wood, stone, or metal, often with flat surfaces 2. a blocklike stand or platform …   English World dictionary

  • Block — may refer to: * A way of controlling train movement in railway signalling * Postage stamp block, an attached group of postage stampsObjects* A large concrete or stone brick * Block (sailing), a single or multiple pulley used on sailboats *… …   Wikipedia

  • Block — kann bedeuten: Allgemein ein großes Stück fest verbundenen Materials Vulkanologie ein bei einem Vulkanausbruch ballistisch herausgeschleuderter eckiger Pyroklast, siehe Vulkanischer Block Gebäude und andere Bauwerke ein durch Wege umschlossenes… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Block — (bl[o^]k), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Blocked} (bl[o^]kt); p. pr. & vb. n. {Blocking}.] [Cf. F. bloquer, fr. bloc block. See {Block}, n.] 1. To obstruct so as to prevent passage or progress; to prevent passage from, through, or into, by obstructing the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Block — Block: Die heute übliche Form stammt aus dem Niederd. und geht zurück auf mnd. blok »Holzklotz oder stamm; Kloben des Flaschenzugs«. Sie hat sich seit dem 17. Jh. gegenüber der nur noch oberd. mdal. bewahrten Form Bloch (mhd. bloch, ahd. bloh‹h›… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • block — ► NOUN 1) a large solid piece of material with flat surfaces on each side. 2) chiefly Brit. a large single building subdivided into separate flats or offices. 3) a group of buildings bounded by four streets. 4) a large quantity of things regarded …   English terms dictionary

  • block — [n1] mass of material bar, brick, cake, chunk, cube, hunk, ingot, loaf, lump, oblong, piece, section, segment, slab, slice, solid, square; concepts 470,471 block [n2] obstruction bar, barrier, blank wall, blockage, chunk, clog, hindrance,… …   New thesaurus

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