Definition of black letter in English:

black letter


  • An early, ornate, bold style of type, typically resembling Gothic.

    ‘I wallowed in bindings and leathers and fonts, in all the lovely jargon of the trade, half-titles, colophons, blind stamping, foxing, black letter, washed leaves and cancels.’
    • ‘So you want p.o.M. in black letter, outlined in red?’
    • ‘The first, in black letter, reads: ‘Hic Adam operatur terram in sudore vultus sui’ (Here Adam with sweat on his brow delves the earth).’
    • ‘Actually, it had no pagination, and I could see right away that it was in black letter, two columns to a page.’


black letter

/ˈblak ˌledər/ /ˈblæk ˌlɛdər/