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This box shows the color black.

In light, black is lack of all color. In painting, however, the black pigment is the combination of all colors. In heraldry, black is called "sable".

Origin of black

The word black comes from Old English blæc ("black, dark", also, "ink"), from Proto-Germanic *blakkaz ("burned"), and from Proto-Indo-European *bhleg-. In many languages, black has the same meaning as ink.

Black in science

In science, an object that is black absorbs the light that hits it. Because these objects do not reflect any light, the human eye can't see any color coming from that object. The brain then sees these objects as black.

A way to create black objects is to mix pigments. A pigment works by reflecting only the color of the pigment. For example, a blue pigment absorbs all colors except blue. By mixing pigments in the right quantities, black can be made.

Because black objects absorb light, they become warmer faster.

Meaning of black

Black is associated with power, elegance, formality, anarchy, death, evil, and mystery. Black is a dark color, the darkest color there is. Black, along with gray and white, is a neutral color. This means that it is not a hot color or a cool color.

Black is a color seen with fear and the unknown (black holes). It can have a bad meaning (blacklist, 'black death', black cat) or a good meaning ('in the black', 'black is beautiful'). Black can stand for strength and power. It can be a formal, elegant, and high-class color (black tie, black Mercedes, black taco). Black clothing is common in emo and goth subculture.

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