black box


black box
black box ˌblack ˈbox noun [countable] informal
1. an electronic unit that records information on an aircraft about its height, speed etc. If the plane crashes, the black box can be examined to find the causes:

• Data from the black box recovered from the destroyed helicopter has been played back satisfactorily.

2. a machine that works in a secret way that is not normally explained to people:

• We found out what formulas were inside the black boxes that firms used to determine when to set off computer-driven program trades.

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black box UK US noun [C]
[usually singular] a system or process that uses information to produce a particular set of results, but that works in a way that is secret or difficult to understand: »

The main problem with many international capital flows is that they are non-transparent - they come from, and reside within, a 'black box'.

a piece of electronic equipment used to record and store information: »

Installation of a black box allows all emails sent and received to be monitored.

a piece of equipment on an aircraft that records the plane's movements and positions during a flight, and which can give important information if the plane has an accident: »

The black box often holds critical clues for investigators looking for the cause of fatal plane crashes.


Financial and business terms. 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Black box — is a technical term for a device or system or object when it is viewed primarily in terms of its input and output characteristics. Almost anything might occasionally be referred to as a black box: a transistor, an algorithm, humans, the Internet …   Wikipedia

  • Black-Box — engl. [blæk bɔks], (dt. schwarzer Kasten) steht für: allgemein ein geschlossenes System unter Vernachlässigung des inneren Aufbaus, siehe Black Box (Systemtheorie) – dort auch zur Wortherkunft einen dunklen und schallisolierten Raum, siehe Camera …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Black Box — Black|box, die; , es, Black Box, die; , es [ blɛkbɔks , bɔks; engl. black box, eigtl. = schwarzer Kasten]: 1. (Kybernetik) Teil eines kybernetischen Systems, dessen Aufbau u. innerer Ablauf erst aus den Reaktionen auf eingegebene Signale… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Black box — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Black Box, boîte noire en anglais, peut faire référence à : Black Box Corporation, une entreprise internationale spécialisée dans les services et… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Black Box — oder Blackbox (engl. blæk bɒks ‚schwarzer Kasten‘) steht für: Black Box (Systemtheorie), ein geschlossenes System unter Vernachlässigung des inneren Aufbaus, siehe dort auch zur Wortherkunft einen dunklen und schallisolierten Raum, siehe Camera… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • black box — black boxes 1) N COUNT A black box is an electronic device in an aircraft which records information about its flights. Black boxes are often used to provide evidence about accidents. 2) N COUNT: usu sing You can refer to a system or device as a… …   English dictionary

  • Black box — (bl[a^]k b[o^]ks ), n. 1. any electronic instrument or part of an instrument whose function is defined, but which is treated as a unit without consideration of the internal mechanisms; broadly, any device whose internal workings are considered as …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • black box — black′ box′ n. 1) elo any unit that forms part of an electronic circuit and has its function but not its components specified 2) cvb any small, usu. black, box containing a secret, mysterious, or complex mechanical or electronic device 3) aer.… …   From formal English to slang

  • black box — theory …   Philosophy dictionary

  • black box — n informal a piece of equipment on an aircraft that records what happens on a flight and can be used to discover the cause of accidents = ↑flight recorder …   Dictionary of contemporary English