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."

Definitions of block
  1. verb
    “Her arteries are blocked
    synonyms: choke up, lug, stuff
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    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
  2. verb
    block passage through
    synonyms: close up, impede, jam, obstruct, obturate, occlude
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    disengage, free
    free or remove obstruction from
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    block off, blockade
    obstruct access to
    barricade, barricado
    block off with barricades
    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
    protect from light, heat, or view
    bar access to
    crap up
    become obstructed or chocked up
    choke up, lug, stuff
    silt, silt up
    become chocked with silt
    type of:
    hinder, impede
    be a hindrance or obstacle to
  3. verb
    render unsuitable for passage
    block the way”
    synonyms: bar, barricade, block off, block up, blockade, stop
    shut out from view or get in the way so as to hide from sight
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    block off, close off, shut off
    block off the passage through
    bar access to
    type of:
    close up, impede, jam, obstruct, obturate, occlude
    block passage through
  4. verb
    hinder or prevent the progress or accomplishment of
    “His brother blocked him at every turn”
    synonyms: blockade, embarrass, hinder, obstruct, stymie, stymy
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    obstruct or hinder any discussion
    obstruct deliberately by delaying
    block or impede (a player from the opposing team) in ice hockey
    prevent from reaching a verdict, of a jury
    slow down or impede by creating an obstruction
    type of:
    forbid, foreclose, forestall, preclude, preempt, prevent
    keep from happening or arising; make impossible
  5. verb
    stop from happening or developing
    Block his election”
    synonyms: halt, kibosh, stop
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    prevent commerce
    stop a judicial process
    type of:
    forbid, foreclose, forestall, preclude, preempt, prevent
    keep from happening or arising; make impossible
  6. verb
    interfere with or prevent the reception of signals
    block the signals emitted by this station”
    synonyms: jam
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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
  7. verb
    impede the movement of (an opponent or a ball)
    block an attack”
    synonyms: deflect, parry
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    type of:
    fight with sword-like foils
  8. verb
    prohibit the conversion or use of (assets)
    Blocked funds”
    synonyms: freeze, immobilise, immobilize
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    free, release, unblock, unfreeze
    make (assets) available
    type of:
    keep back, withhold
    hold back; refuse to hand over or share
  9. verb
    interrupt the normal function of by means of anesthesia
    block a nerve”
    block a muscle”
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    type of:
    anaesthetise, anaesthetize, anesthetise, anesthetize, put out, put under
    administer an anesthetic drug to
  10. verb
    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
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    type of:
    conceal, hide
    prevent from being seen or discovered
  11. verb
    be unable to remember
    “You are blocking the name of your first wife!”
    synonyms: blank out, draw a blank, forget
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    call back, call up, recall, recollect, remember, retrieve, think
    recall knowledge from memory; have a recollection
    slip, slip one's mind
    pass out of one's memory
  12. verb
    run on a block system
    block trains”
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    type of:
    operate, run
    direct or control; projects, businesses, etc.
  13. noun
    the act of obstructing or deflecting someone's movements
    synonyms: blocking
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    (American football) blocking a player's path with your body
    trap block
    (American football) an illegal block
    (fencing) blocking a lunge or deflecting it with a circular motion of the sword
    type of:
    getting in someone's way
  14. noun
    an obstruction in a pipe or tube
    synonyms: blockage, closure, occlusion, stop, stoppage
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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)
    a removable plug for holding water in a tub or basin
    a plug of cotton, wax, or rubber that is fitted into the ear canal for protection against the entry of water or loud noise
    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
    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
  15. noun
    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
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    writer's block
    an inability to write
    type of:
    lack of ability (especially mental ability) to do something
  16. noun
    a three-dimensional shape with six square or rectangular sides
    synonyms: cube
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    a brick-shaped block that looks like gold but is not
    type of:
    a three-dimensional shape
  17. noun
    a solid piece of something (usually having flat rectangular sides)
    “the pyramids were built with large stone blocks
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    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
    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
    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
    a wooden block built into a masonry wall so that joinery structure can be nailed to it
    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
    block consisting of a thick piece of something
    starting block
    block providing bracing for a runner's feet at start of a race
    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
    a small metal block bearing a raised character on one end; produces a printed character when inked and pressed on paper
    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
    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
    a domino or die whose upward face shows one pip
    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
    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
    a small flat compressed cake of some substance
    a slab of stone or wood suitable for bearing an inscription
    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
    movable type
    printing type in which blocks bearing individual characters can be moved and assembled in any combination
    type of:
    artefact, artifact
    a man-made object taken as a whole
  18. noun
    a rectangular area in a city surrounded by streets and usually containing several buildings
    synonyms: city block
    see moresee less
    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)
  19. noun
    housing in a large building that is divided into separate units
    “there is a block of classrooms in the west wing”
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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
    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
  20. noun
    a platform from which an auctioneer sells
    “they put their paintings on the block
    synonyms: auction block
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    type of:
    a raised horizontal surface
  21. verb
    shape by using a block
    Block a hat”
    block a garment”
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    type of:
    form, shape
    give shape or form to
  22. verb
    shape into a block or blocks
    block the graphs so one can see the results clearly”
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    type of:
    form, shape
    give shape or form to
  23. verb
    stamp or emboss a title or design on a book with a block
    block the book cover”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    boss, emboss, stamp
    raise in a relief
  24. noun
    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”
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    type of:
    accumulation, aggregation, assemblage, collection
    several things grouped together or considered as a whole
  25. noun
    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
    see moresee less
    type of:
    cast, casting
    object formed by a mold
  26. noun
    (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”
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    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
  27. noun
    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
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    bollock, bullock block
    a pulley-block at the head of a topmast
    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
  28. verb
    support, secure, or raise with a block
    block a plate for printing”
    block the wheels of a car”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    hold, hold up, support, sustain
    be the physical support of; carry the weight of
Word Family

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