Definition of black hole in US English:

black hole


  • 1A region of space having a gravitational field so intense that no matter or radiation can escape.

    Black holes are probably formed when a massive star exhausts its nuclear fuel and collapses under its own gravity. If the star is massive enough no known force can counteract the increasing gravity, and it will collapse to a point of infinite density. Before this stage is reached, within a certain radius (the event horizon) light itself becomes trapped and the object becomes invisible

    • ‘An astronomy satellite that studied black holes and distant galaxies was wiped out by the one star that it did not watch.’
    • ‘I can only assume, based on our limited understanding of space and time, that the intense gravity of the black hole caused the spacecraft to be thrust back in time.’
    • ‘The gravitational field of a black hole is so strong that the escape velocity needed is greater than the speed of light.’
    • ‘This universe is very similar to our own, with thousands of stars and galaxies, black holes, comets and meteors each a part in the never-ending celestial dance.’
    • ‘Some of the invisible dark matter that is missing from the Universe may be massive dark bodies such as planets, black holes, asteroids or failed stars.’
    1. 1.1informal A place where people or things, especially money, disappear without trace.
      ‘the moribund economy has been a black hole for federal funds’
      ‘juveniles lost for good in the black hole of the criminal justice system’
      • ‘Some sites we have looked at during the last few years have disappeared into the black hole of Cyberspace.’
      • ‘Apparently he would like them to disappear into a black hole somewhere.’
      • ‘But if you can't sell it, then you haven't got any money, what you've got is a big black hole of expense.’
      • ‘Dotcoms continue to disappear into the Nasdaq black hole in hot pursuit of the latest startups.’
      • ‘It's like a big black hole, the money disappears.’
      • ‘There is plenty of potential - the telecom's £2.5bn black hole alone is the equivalent to the value of a large UK company.’
      • ‘Due to the ephemeral nature of the medium, web content often disappears into a black hole.’
      • ‘But the critics assume that Quebecers get nothing in exchange for their tax dollars, that this money is somehow dumped into a great bureaucratic black hole.’
      • ‘They disappear into the black hole existing somewhere in the core of my house.’
      • ‘They claim that all this extra cash has somehow disappeared into a black hole so massive that even Stephen Hawking could not comprehend it.’
      • ‘Publicly owned cars are a very big financial black hole in the country, producing waste and corruption.’
      • ‘The economics of nuclear energy are insane - it's the most expensive way of generating electricity, a gigantic black hole sucking in taxpayers' money.’
      • ‘He adopted all these ruinous procedures and a very large percentage of what he thus raised went straight into his financial black hole.’
      • ‘Are these savvy businessfolk simply throwing their money into a black hole?’
      • ‘Critics predicted that, without radical change to make the service more accountable, the money would disappear into a black hole.’
      • ‘The company's finances are formally a black hole, although great hopes rest on the imminent IPO reviving the tech sector.’
      • ‘But in today's changing world, where today's Internet success can easily become tomorrow's black hole, it pays to have partners and spread the risk.’
      • ‘How many times have you sent an e-mail to a company, only to have that e-mail apparently fall into a black hole?’
      • ‘The first disappeared into the great black hole of cyberspace.’
      • ‘The single biggest problem with the privatisation programme is that the proceeds disappear into a black hole called the Consolidated Fund of India.’
      underground cell, underground prison, oubliette
      View synonyms


black hole

/ˈˌblak ˈhōl//ˈˌblæk ˈhoʊl/