Block system
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.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Block system — System Sys tem, n. [L. systema, Gr. ?, fr. ? to place together; sy n with + ? to place: cf. F. syst[ e]me. See {Stand}.] 1. An assemblage of objects arranged in regular subordination, or after some distinct method, usually logical or scientific;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Block system — (Railroads) A system by which the track is divided into short sections, as of three or four miles, and trains are so run by the guidance of electric, or combined electric and pneumatic, signals that no train enters a section or block until the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • block-system — [blɔksistɛm] n. m. ÉTYM. 1881; angl. block system (1873), de (to) block « fermer », et system. ❖ ♦ Anglic. Techn. (ch. de fer). Dispositif de signalisation automatique sur des sections de voie, destiné à éviter les collisions. || …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • block system — n. a system of dividing a railroad track into several sections (blocks) and regulating the trains by automatic signals (block signals) so that there is usually no more than one train in one section …   English World dictionary

  • block-system — blockˈ system noun (rail) A system in which no train is allowed onto a section of line so long as any other is on it • • • Main Entry: ↑block …   Useful english dictionary

  • block system — noun 1. : a system of mountain ranges composed of tilted or uplifted fault blocks compare basin range 2. : a system by which a railroad track is divided into short sections (as of three or four miles) and trains are so run by the guidance of… …   Useful english dictionary

  • block system — Railroads. 1. a series of consecutive blocks. Cf. block (def. 22). 2. a system of blocks and block signals for controlling train movements. [1860 65] * * * …   Universalium

  • block system — series of sequential blocks; system of blocks for controlling train flow wherein railroad track is divided into short sections and trains are guided by automatic signals …   English contemporary dictionary

  • block system — noun a system of railway signalling which divides the track into sections and allows no train to enter a section that is not completely clear …   English new terms dictionary

  • block system — /ˈblɒk sɪstəm/ (say blok sistuhm) noun any system of controlling train movements by allowing only one train at a time into a section of the railway …   Australian English dictionary

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