To cause to disappear; to prevent someone or something from communicating or being communicated. Also: black hole, blackhole.
Example Citation:
However, industry analysts have pointed out that economic factors constitute the more compelling reasons that delay 3G. In the midst of the 3G auction mania raging at the turn of the millennium, many operators in forerunning countries found themselves black-holed in the mega-buck bidding.
— Jeff Ooi, "Going, going, gone!," Malaysian Business, May 1, 2002
Earliest Citation:
A few weeks back, the Associated Press reported that, contrary to all the hullabaloo over the burning of black churches, there was no evidence of any spate of arson fires that were racially motivated. How many newspapers picked up this story? Fewer than 10, according to the New York Post's media critic. The Orange County Register, by the way, was one of the papers that ran the AP piece.
The Los Angeles Times wasn't.
You guessed it: It was from talk radio — Ray Briem's afternoon program on KIEV — that I first learned of this black-holing of the AP article that debunked the epidemic of church burnings.
— Harold Johnson, "Dream team: Putnam, Elder, Prager," The Orange County Register, July 29, 1996
A black hole is a celestial object with a gravitational pull so intense that neither matter nor energy — including light — can escape it. The term was invented by the American physicist John Wheeler in 1968 (some sources say 1967). Within a few years, the world's metaphorists had latched on to the phrase and were wielding it willy-nilly to describe everything from large budget deficits to gaping legal loopholes.
Our focus today is on black hole's relatively new career as a verb. In technology circles, to black-hole means to cut off data going to and coming from an address, particularly an address used by a spammer. This sense has been around since 1997. Here's a typical citation:
Being "black holed" is a growing problem for ISPs unfortunate enough to host aggressive spammers, Geller said. In such cases, ISPs block all e-mail bearing the ISP name after the \@ sign shared by a notorious spammer, blocking the vast majority of legitimate e-mails from that ISP.
— Patrick Ross, "Independent ISPs Wary of Financial, Legal Burdens of Privacy," Washington Internet Daily, October 12, 2001
But the black-hole verb is also being used in more general senses, as the example and earliest citations show. Thanks to subscriber Erin McKean for inspiring me to post this term.
Related Word:

New words. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Black Hole — est une bande dessinée en noir et blanc de Charles Burns. Elle a été publiée aux États Unis en 12 volumes, de 1995 à 2005 par Kitchen Sink Press et Fantagraphics. Une édition intégrale a été réalisée par Pantheon Books en 2005. En France,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • black hole — lack hole A dungeon or dark cell in a prison; a military lock up or guardroom; now commonly with allusion to the cell (the Black Hole) in a fort at Calcutta (called the {Black Hole of Calcutta}), into which 146 English prisoners were thrust by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • black hole — ˌblack ˈhole noun [countable] COMMERCE a business activity or product on which large amounts of money are spent, but that does not produce any income or other useful result: • Anyone who launches a bid for the company will want to be sure there… …   Financial and business terms

  • Black Hole — steht für: ein astronomisches Objekt, siehe Schwarzes Loch Black Hole (Alton Towers), Achterbahn in Alton Towers, England Black Hole (Fahrgeschäft), mobile Indoorachterbahn Black Hole Entertainment, ungarisches Softwareunternehmen Black Hole… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • black hole — noun count 1. ) SCIENCE an area in outer space where the force of GRAVITY is so strong that light and everything else around it is pulled into it 2. ) INFORMAL a situation in which large amounts of money are spent without bringing any benefits:… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • black hole — n 1.) an area in outer space into which everything near it, including light, is pulled 2.) informal something that uses up a lot of money ▪ I m worried that the project could become a financial black hole …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Black Hole — [ blæk houl] das; , s <aus gleichbed. engl. black hole> Schwarzes Loch (Astrophys.) …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • black hole — in astrophysics, 1968, probably with awareness of Black Hole of Calcutta, incident of June 19, 1756, in which 146 British POWs taken by the Nawab of Bengal after the capture of Ft. William, Calcutta, were held overnight in punishment cell of the… …   Etymology dictionary

  • black hole — If there is a black hole in financial accounts, money has disappeared …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • black hole — black holes 1) N COUNT Black holes are areas in space, where gravity is so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape from them. Black holes are thought to be formed by collapsed stars. 2) N COUNT: usu sing If you say that something,… …   English dictionary

  • Black Hole —   [ blæk həʊl] das, / s, Astrophysik: englische Bezeichnung für Schwarzes Loch …   Universal-Lexikon