Definition of blackball in English:

blackball

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Reject (someone, usually a candidate applying to become a member of a private club), typically by means of a secret ballot.

    ‘her husband was blackballed when he tried to join the Country Club’
    • ‘The result was I was blackballed from finding other work in southern CA.’
    • ‘Oh, how right the EU Parliament was to blackball him from the EU Commission!’
    • ‘Back then, while everyone knew Leo had been blackballed, it was hushed up.’
    • ‘The report was questionable, he said, given the fact that other ministers who were also running for the presidency were not being blackballed.’
    • ‘Look how the channel has blackballed artists who dared to speak in opposition to the war, while also organizing pro-war rallies across the country.’
    • ‘Do so and you'll be blackballed, is the message.’
    • ‘Failure to reply with a swift ‘Yes’, even a slight hesitation, was enough to blackball the hopeful candidate.’
    • ‘After all, the intellectual loner who sneers at the affairs of lesser men hardly tallies with the man whose membership application for the club was recently blackballed by four members.’
    • ‘The member of the Board of Directors who blackballed the candidate has finally been convinced to remove his objection.’
    • ‘He was almost blackballed from the Alpine Club and on one occasion even assaulted.’
    • ‘I was blackballed and blacklisted, vilified and scarified and was reduced to having to go incognito to the pub to enjoy a pint or three.’
    • ‘You have a situation whereby a member from a home state can essentially blackball a nominee, and the nominee never knows what hit them.’
    • ‘I would almost certainly lose my job, and be blackballed from the PR industry, so if I relied on my income to fulfil my duties to my family, I would be choosing to risk their welfare by speaking out.’
    • ‘In theory at least, any one of its 148 members could blackball an agreement.’
    • ‘When it came to the inquiry, all the people who had flocked to advise him blackballed him.’
    • ‘This should have had a negative impact on his career, actors have been blackballed for a single such act, never mind a seemingly endless succession of them.’
    • ‘They were such snobs; they blackballed anyone they didn't like.’
    • ‘They blackballed all DVD proposals that didn't include robust security measures, and threatened to do anything in their power to kill formats that didn't adequately protect content.’
    • ‘Another was blackballed because the women felt he established more eye contact with the male than the female interviewers.’
    • ‘The embarrassment to baseball was so great that soon enough, after Dad sold the club, I was essentially blackballed from Major League Baseball.’
    reject, debar, bar, ban, vote against, blacklist, exclude, shut out, leave out in the cold
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 18th century: from the practice of registering an adverse vote by placing a black ball in a ballot box.

Pronunciation

blackball

/ˈblækˌbɔl//ˈblakˌbôl/