Definition of blackleg in English:



  • 1British derogatory A person who continues working when fellow workers are on strike.

    as modifier ‘blackleg labour’
    • ‘They are known as ‘Scummers’, a term going back to a dock strike in the fifties, when blackleg labour was brought in to breach the picket lines.’
    • ‘At the beginning of the 20th century, the picket was mainly concerned with preventing blackleg labour from being taken in to replace strikers.’
    • ‘Go on strike by all means, but don't be surprised if some unknown blackleg wannabe steals your job.’
    • ‘In response to his letter, I wholeheartedly disagree with his comments about ‘scabs’, ‘non-strikers’ and ‘blacklegs’.’
    • ‘The marital crisis coincides with a miners' strike in which the men are forced to live off a pittance while blacklegs take over their jobs.’
    • ‘When the newspaper called them ‘desperate rascals, thieves, robbers, cut-throats, and blacklegs’ the newspaper's editors were not far from the truth.’
    • ‘They were ill organized, and defeated by the import of blackleg labour and drought, which struck in 1905.’
    • ‘There was no violence directed against the many blacklegs who drove buses and engaged in other strike-breaking activities.’
    • ‘They sang the Red Flag and the Marseillaise, followed by three cheers for the social revolution and three boos for royalty and blacklegs.’
    • ‘Grassroots peasant activists burned crops, mined and barricaded roads, derailed trains, set fire to buildings, beat up strikebreakers and punctured the tyres of blackleg drivers.’
  • 2mass noun An acute infectious bacterial disease of cattle and sheep, causing necrosis in one or more legs.

    • ‘After the wet start, and now an increasingly wet end to the season, blackleg is being found more widely, and as soils approach field capacity more rots will appear.’
    • ‘You can't pretend the wheat doesn't have head blight, a cow doesn't have blackleg, or that predators don't prey.’
    • ‘Such other clostridials include black disease, blackleg, braxy, bacterial redwater and tetanus.’
    • ‘The researcher said cases of blackleg often increased when animals moved to new pastures.’
    • ‘The clinical signs of botulism in cattle are caused by the toxin produced by a bacteria, which is in the same group that causes such familiar diseases as tetanus and blackleg.’
  • 3mass noun Any of a number of plant diseases in which part of the stem blackens and decays.

    • ‘The models revealed telling facts about the spread of anthracnose, blackleg and black spot.’
    • ‘Although numerous studies suggest that seedling and adult blackleg resistances are under different genetic controls, many authors have observed a significant correlation between the two.’
    • ‘There is no chemical cure and all growers can do is let the crop mature and hope the blackleg tubers will rot out.’
    • ‘Since chemical control of the disease poses risks to the producer and the environment, the introduction of genetic resistance to blackleg has become a major objective of canola breeding programs.’
    • ‘This will ensure that any future overcoming of resistance does not result in the complete collapse of the cultivar from blackleg disease as now occurs in some field situations.’


[NO OBJECT]British
  • Continue working when one's fellow workers are on strike.

    • ‘Second, the left decided to scab and blackleg on the ethnic group, whose struggle is the oldest cause of the left in the region.’
    • ‘The party's organic hostility to the working class soon proved of value to the bourgeoisie when it blacklegged on the 1980 general strike, which was broken by the government.’