block

A block is a painted wooden cube that kids build with, or a squarish chunk of anything, like a block of cheese or cement. And if you block someone, you prevent them from going past by getting in the way.

A sculptor might carve a bird out of a block of marble, and you might eat a whole block of chocolate after dinner. Another block is the row of buildings or houses between four streets: "I'm walking the dog around the block." When block is a verb it means "to obstruct," like when you block your dog from going near the cat food. All these meanings stem from the Old French root bloc, "block of wood."

Primary Meanings of block

1.
vn
obstruct
the act of obstructing or deflecting someone's movements
2.
nv
a three-dimensional shape with six square or rectangular sides
shape by using a block
3.
n
a number or quantity of related things dealt with as a unit
4.
nv
a simple machine consisting of a wheel with a groove in which a rope can run to change the direction or point of application of a force applied to the rope
support, secure, or raise with a block
Full Definitions of block
1

v obstruct

“Her arteries are blocked
Synonyms:
choke up, lug, stuff
Antonyms:
loosen up, unstuff
cause to become unblocked
Type of:
back up, choke, choke off, clog, clog up, congest, foul
become or cause to become obstructed

v block passage through

Synonyms:
close up, impede, jam, obstruct, obturate, occlude
Antonyms:
disengage, free
free or remove obstruction from
Types:
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block off, blockade
obstruct access to
barricade, barricado
block off with barricades
barricade
prevent access to by barricading
asphyxiate, choke, stifle, suffocate
impair the respiration of or obstruct the air passage of
tie up
restrain from moving or operating normally
dam, dam up
obstruct with, or as if with, a dam
block out, screen
prevent from entering
earth up, land up
block with earth, as after a landslide
bar, barricade, block off, block up, blockade, stop
render unsuitable for passage
back up, choke, choke off, clog, clog up, congest, foul
become or cause to become obstructed
gum up
stick together as if with gum
block off, close off, shut off
block off the passage through
shade
protect from light, heat, or view
close
bar access to
crap up
become obstructed or chocked up
choke up, lug, stuff
obstruct
silt, silt up
become chocked with silt
Type of:
hinder, impede
be a hindrance or obstacle to

v render unsuitable for passage

block the way”
Synonyms:
bar, barricade, block off, block up, blockade, stop
obstruct
shut out from view or get in the way so as to hide from sight
Types:
block off, close off, shut off
block off the passage through
close
bar access to
Type of:
close up, impede, jam, obstruct, obturate, occlude
block passage through

v hinder or prevent the progress or accomplishment of

“His brother blocked him at every turn”
Synonyms:
blockade, embarrass, hinder, obstruct, stymie, stymy
Types:
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stonewall
obstruct or hinder any discussion
filibuster
obstruct deliberately by delaying
check
block or impede (a player from the opposing team) in ice hockey
hang
prevent from reaching a verdict, of a jury
bottleneck
slow down or impede by creating an obstruction
Type of:
forbid, foreclose, forestall, preclude, prevent
keep from happening or arising; make impossible

v stop from happening or developing

Block his election”
Synonyms:
halt, kibosh, stop
Types:
embargo
prevent commerce
stay
stop a judicial process
Type of:
forbid, foreclose, forestall, preclude, prevent
keep from happening or arising; make impossible

v interfere with or prevent the reception of signals

block the signals emitted by this station”
Synonyms:
jam
Types:
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barrage jam
jam an entire frequency spectrum
point jam
jam a narrow band of frequencies
spot jam
jam a single frequency
blanket jam
jam a broad spectrum of frequencies to affect all communications in the area except for directional antenna communications
Type of:
break up, cut off, disrupt, interrupt
make a break in

v impede the movement of (an opponent or a ball)

block an attack”
Synonyms:
deflect, parry
Type of:
fence
fight with fencing swords

v prohibit the conversion or use of (assets)

Blocked funds”
Synonyms:
freeze, immobilise, immobilize
Antonyms:
free, release, unblock, unfreeze
make (assets) available
Type of:
keep back, withhold
hold back; refuse to hand over or share

v interrupt the normal function of by means of anesthesia

block a nerve”
block a muscle”
Type of:
anaesthetise, anaesthetize, anesthetise, anesthetize, put out, put under
administer an anesthetic drug to

v shut out from view or get in the way so as to hide from sight

“The thick curtain blocked the action on the stage”
Synonyms:
obstruct
bar, barricade, block off, block up, blockade, stop
render unsuitable for passage
Type of:
conceal, hide
prevent from being seen or discovered

v be unable to remember

“You are blocking the name of your first wife!”
Synonyms:
blank out, draw a blank, forget
Antonyms:
call back, call up, recall, recollect, remember, retrieve, think
recall knowledge from memory; have a recollection
Types:
slip, slip one's mind
pass out of one's memory

v run on a block system

block trains”
Type of:
operate, run
direct or control; projects, businesses, etc.

n the act of obstructing or deflecting someone's movements

Synonyms:
blocking
Types:
interference
(American football) blocking a player's path with your body
trap block
(American football) an illegal block
parry
(fencing) blocking a lunge or deflecting it with a circular motion of the sword
Type of:
obstruction
getting in someone's way

n an obstruction in a pipe or tube

Synonyms:
blockage, closure, occlusion, stop, stoppage
Types:
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breech closer, breechblock
a metal block in breech-loading firearms that is withdrawn to insert a cartridge and replaced to close the breech before firing
plug, stopper, stopple
blockage consisting of an object designed to fill a hole tightly
vapor lock, vapour lock
a stoppage in a pipeline caused by gas bubbles (especially a stoppage that develops in hot weather in an internal-combustion engine when fuel in the gas line boils and forms bubbles that block the flow of gasoline to the carburetor)
bung, spile
a plug used to close a hole in a barrel or flask
bottle cork, cork
the plug in the mouth of a bottle (especially a wine bottle)
drainplug
a removable plug for holding water in a tub or basin
earplug
a plug of cotton, wax, or rubber that is fitted into the ear canal for protection against the entry of water or loud noise
fipple
a wooden plug forming a flue pipe (as the mouthpiece of a recorder)
tampion, tompion
plug for the muzzle of a gun to keep out dust and moisture
tampon
plug of cotton or other absorbent material; inserted into wound or body cavity to absorb exuded fluids (especially blood)
spigot, tap
a plug for a bunghole in a cask
Type of:
impediment, impedimenta, obstructer, obstruction, obstructor
any structure that makes progress difficult

n an inability to remember or think of something you normally can do; often caused by emotional tension

“I knew his name perfectly well but I had a temporary block
Synonyms:
mental block
Types:
writer's block
an inability to write
Type of:
inability
lack of ability (especially mental ability) to do something
2

n a three-dimensional shape with six square or rectangular sides

Synonyms:
cube
Types:
goldbrick
a brick-shaped block that looks like gold but is not
Type of:
solid
a three-dimensional shape

n a solid piece of something (usually having flat rectangular sides)

“the pyramids were built with large stone blocks
Types:
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anvil
a heavy block of iron or steel on which hot metals are shaped by hammering
briquet, briquette
a block made from charcoal or coal dust and burned as fuel
bar, cake
a block of solid substance (such as soap or wax)
chock, wedge
a block of wood used to prevent the sliding or rolling of a heavy object
chopping block
a steady wooden block on which food can be cut or diced or wood can be split
crosshead
metal block that connects to a piston; it slides on parallel guides and moves a connecting rod back and forth
cube, square block
a block in the (approximate) shape of a cube
domino
a small rectangular block used in playing the game of dominoes; the face of each block has two equal areas that can bear 0 to 6 dots
block of metal, ingot, metal bar
metal that is cast in the shape of a block for convenient handling
nog
a wooden block built into a masonry wall so that joinery structure can be nailed to it
nut
a small (usually square or hexagonal) metal block with internal screw thread to be fitted onto a bolt
inking pad, inkpad, pad, stamp pad
a block of absorbent material saturated with ink; used to transfer ink evenly to a rubber stamp
slab
block consisting of a thick piece of something
starting block
block providing bracing for a runner's feet at start of a race
step
a solid block joined to the beams in which the heel of a ship's mast or capstan is fixed
swage block
an iron block cut with holes and grooves to assist in cold working metal
type
a small metal block bearing a raised character on one end; produces a printed character when inked and pressed on paper
bullion
gold or silver in bars or ingots
butcher block, butcher board
a thick wooden slab formed by bonding together thick laminated strips of unpainted hardwood
dice, die
a small cube with 1 to 6 spots on the six faces; used in gambling to generate random numbers
five, five-spot
a playing card or a domino or a die whose upward face shows five pips
four, four-spot
a playing card or domino or die whose upward face shows four pips
hex nut
a nut with a hexagonal shape
ice cube
a small cube of artificial ice; used for cooling drinks
kern
the part of a metal typeface that projects beyond its body
locknut, safety nut
supplementary nut that is screwed down on a primary nut to prevent it from loosening
one-spot
a domino or die whose upward face shows one pip
pig
a crude block of metal (lead or iron) poured from a smelting furnace
quad, space
(printing) a block of type without a raised letter; used for spacing between words or sentences
six, six-spot
a playing card or domino or die whose upward face shows six pips
sprag
a chock or bar wedged under a wheel or between the spokes to prevent a vehicle from rolling down an incline
square nut
nut with a square shape
packing nut, stuffing nut
a nut used to tighten a stuffing box
tablet
a small flat compressed cake of some substance
tablet
a slab of stone or wood suitable for bearing an inscription
tile
a flat thin rectangular slab (as of fired clay or rubber or linoleum) used to cover surfaces
butterfly nut, thumbnut, wing nut, wing screw, wing-nut
a threaded nut with winglike projections for thumb and forefinger leverage in turning
Type of:
artefact, artifact
a man-made object taken as a whole

n a rectangular area in a city surrounded by streets and usually containing several buildings

“he lives in the next block
Synonyms:
city block
Type of:
area, country
a particular geographical region of indefinite boundary (usually serving some special purpose or distinguished by its people or culture or geography)

n housing in a large building that is divided into separate units

“there is a block of classrooms in the west wing”
Types:
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cellblock, ward
a division of a prison (usually consisting of several cells)
hospital ward, ward
block forming a division of a hospital (or a suite of rooms) shared by patients who need a similar kind of care
death house, death row
the cellblock in a prison where those condemned to death await execution
detox
the hospital ward or clinic in which patients are detoxified
maternity ward
a hospital ward that provides care for women during pregnancy and childbirth and for newborn infants
Type of:
housing, living accommodations, lodging
structures collectively in which people are housed

n a platform from which an auctioneer sells

“they put their paintings on the block
Synonyms:
auction block
Type of:
platform
a raised horizontal surface

v shape by using a block

Block a hat”
block a garment”
Type of:
form, shape
give shape or form to

v shape into a block or blocks

block the graphs so one can see the results clearly”
Type of:
form, shape
give shape or form to

v stamp or emboss a title or design on a book with a block

block the book cover”
Type of:
boss, emboss, stamp
raise in a relief
3

n a number or quantity of related things dealt with as a unit

“he reserved a large block of seats”
“he held a large block of the company's stock”
Type of:
accumulation, aggregation, assemblage, collection
several things grouped together or considered as a whole

n a metal casting containing the cylinders and cooling ducts of an engine

“the engine had to be replaced because the block was cracked”
Synonyms:
cylinder block, engine block
Type of:
cast, casting
object formed by a mold

n (computer science) a sector or group of sectors that function as the smallest data unit permitted

“since blocks are often defined as a single sector, the terms `block' and `sector' are sometimes used interchangeably”
Types:
bad block
(computer science) a block (usually one sector) that cannot reliably hold data
Type of:
computer memory unit
a unit for measuring computer memory
4

n a simple machine consisting of a wheel with a groove in which a rope can run to change the direction or point of application of a force applied to the rope

Synonyms:
pulley, pulley block, pulley-block
Types:
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bollock, bullock block
a pulley-block at the head of a topmast
fairlead
a pulley-block used to guide a rope forming part of a ship's rigging to avoid chafing
idle pulley, idle wheel, idler pulley
a pulley on a shaft that presses against a guide belt to guide or tighten it
snatch block
a pulley-block that can be opened to receive the bight of a rope
Type of:
machine, simple machine
a device for overcoming resistance at one point by applying force at some other point

v support, secure, or raise with a block

block a plate for printing”
block the wheels of a car”
Type of:
hold, hold up, support, sustain
be the physical support of; carry the weight of

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