Definition of block noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//blɒk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//blɑːk//
    Features of roads, House location, Construction, Materials and properties
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    solid material
  1. 1  [countable] a large piece of a solid material that is square or rectangular in shape and usually has flat sides a block of ice/concrete/stone a chopping block (= for cutting food on) see also breeze block, building block, cinder block See related entries: Construction, Materials and properties
  2. building
  3. 2   [countable] (British English) a tall building that contains flats or offices; buildings that form part of a school, hospital, etc. which are used for a particular purpose a tower block a block of flats an office block the university’s science block Synonymsbuildingproperty premises complex structure blockThese are all words for a structure such as a house, office block or factory that has a roof and four wallsbuilding a structure such as a house, an office block or a factory that has a roof and four walls.property a building or buildings and the surrounding land; land and buildings:We have a buyer who would like to view the property. The price of property has risen enormously. This word is often used when talking about buying/​selling houses or other buildings and land.premises [pl.] the building or buildings and surrounding land that a business owns or uses:The company is looking for larger premises.complex a group of buildings of a similar type together in one place:a leisure complexstructure a thing that is made of several parts, especially a building:The pier is a wooden structure.block (British English) a tall building that contains flats or offices; a building that forms part of a school, hospital, etc. and is used for a particular purpose:a block of flats the school’s science blockPatterns a(n) commercial/​industrial/​residential building/​property/​premises/​complex/​block an apartment building/​complex/​block a/​the school building/​premises to build a property/​complex/​structure/​block to put up a building/​property/​structure/​block to demolish/​pull down a building/​property/​complex/​structure/​block
  4. streets
  5. 3  [countable] a group of buildings with streets on all sides She took the dog for a walk around the block. See related entries: Features of roads, House location
  6. 4  [countable] (North American English) the length of one side of a piece of land or group of buildings, from the place where one street crosses it to the next His apartment is three blocks away from the police station. See related entries: Features of roads
  7. area of land
  8. 5[countable] (especially North American English) a large area of land
  9. 6[countable] (Australian English) an area of land for building a house on
  10. amount
  11. 7[countable] a quantity of something or an amount of time that is considered as a single unit a block of shares a block of text in a document (British English) The theatre gives discounts for block bookings (= a large number of tickets bought at the same time). The three-hour class is divided into four blocks of 45 minutes each.
  12. that stops progress
  13. 8[countable, usually singular] something that makes movement or progress difficult or impossible synonym obstacle Lack of training acts as a block to progress in a career. see also roadblock, stumbling block, writer’s block
  14. in sport
  15. 9[countable] a movement that stops another player from going forward
  16. 10the blocks [plural] = starting blocks
  17. for punishment
  18. 11the block [singular] (in the past) the piece of wood on which a person’s head was cut off as a punishment
  19. Word OriginMiddle English (denoting a log or tree stump): from Old French bloc (noun), bloquer (verb), from Middle Dutch blok, of unknown ultimate origin.Extra examples I suddenly had a mental block and couldn’t remember his name. I was aiming to be first out of the starting blocks. I’m going for a quick walk round the block. I’m not putting my head on the chopping block for you. People were queueing round the block to get in. She lives in a modern apartment block. The author denies that she is experiencing writer’s block. The hotel occupies an entire block. The issue has been a major stumbling block in trade negotiations. The prisoners had been transferred to a different cell block. They live in the next block. They walked a few blocks down the street. We’re about four blocks from my house. It was an old-fashioned kitchen with a range, a dresser, a scrubbed wooden table and a butcher’s chopping block. Single words are the building blocks of language. The wall was made from massive blocks of stone. an apartment block the school’s science blockIdioms
    a chip off the old block
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    (informal) a person who is very similar to their mother or father in the way that they look or behave
    to be sold, especially at an auction (= a sale in which items are sold to the person who offers the most money)
    have been around the block (a few times)
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    (informal) to have a lot of experience
    I’ll knock your block/head off!
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    (informal) used to threaten somebody that you will hit them
    a/the new kid on the block
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    (informal) a person who is new to a place, an organization, etc. Despite his six years in politics, he was still regarded by many as the new kid on the block.
    put/lay your head/neck on the block
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    to risk losing your job, damaging your reputation, etc. by doing or saying something It's not a matter that I'm prepared to put my head on the block for.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: block