- a list of persons under suspicion, disfavor, censure, etc.: His record as an anarchist put him on the government’s blacklist.
- a list privately exchanged among employers, containing the names of persons to be barred from employment because of untrustworthiness or for holding opinions considered undesirable.
- a list drawn up by a labor union, containing the names of employers to be boycotted for unfair labor practices.
verb (used with object)
- to put (a person, group, company, etc.) on a blacklist.
- a list of persons or organizations under suspicion, or considered untrustworthy, disloyal, etc, esp one compiled by a government or an organization
- (tr) to put on a blacklist
also black-list, black list, “list of persons who have incurred suspicion,” 1610s, from black (adj.), here indicative of disgrace, censure, punishment (attested from 1590s, in black book) + list (n.). Specifically of employers’ list of workers considered troublesome (usually for union activity) is from 1888. As a verb, from 1718. Related: Blacklisted; blacklisting.
Concerted action by employers to deny employment to someone suspected of unacceptable opinions or behavior. For example, individual workers suspected of favoring labor unions have often been blacklisted by all the employers in a region.