Definition of Black Maria in English:

Black Maria


  • 1informal A police vehicle for transporting prisoners.

    • ‘A short, mutton-chopped cop grabbed his sleeve and pushed him toward the open doors of a Black Maria.’
    • ‘On arrival at Leeds station they were met by a Black Maria which would carry them to Leeds Town Hall where the trial was to be held.’
    • ‘The jury comes back within five minutes, the judge dons a black cap, and the defendants commence with a thin chorus of ‘You're going home in a Black Maria.’’
  • 2[mass noun] A card game in which players try to avoid winning tricks containing the queen of spades or any hearts.

    1. 2.1A name for the queen of spades in the game of Black Maria.


Mid 19th century (originally US): said to be named after a black woman, Maria Lee, who kept a boarding house in Boston and helped police in escorting drunk and disorderly customers to jail.


Black Maria

/blak məˈrʌɪə/