What is the Opposite of Black?

The opposite of black – introduction

This short article will answer the question “What is the opposite of black?”

To many people, this is just too easy. But be careful about things that seem too easy – the answer could be more involved than you think.

For those of you who prefer content in video format, here is a video based on this post.

The simple answer

The opposite of black is white – duh.

what is the opposite of black - business english success - zebra

This is easy to understand, due to numerous black and white references, such as

  • (old) TVs
  • (not only old) photography
  • chess and draughts boards
  • chess and draughts pieces
  • zebras
  • zebra crossings
  • clear choices with no confusion

Although this is a correct answer, it is not the only correct answer, as we shall see.

The business answer

As this site deals with Business English, there is another answer.

what is the opposite of black - business english success - ledger

If a company has a positive financial balance, they are said to be ‘in the black’, whereas companies with debts are said to be ‘in the red’.

In other words, the opposite of black can also be red.

The medical answer

Here for the sake of completion – also no image in this section. I couldn’t do that to you 🙂

There is a nasty kidney disease called blackwater fever, which is named after the way it makes urine turn dark red, or even black – sounds delightful …

So in this case, the opposite of black could be clear, pale yellow, or whatever colour urine normally has.


So, what is the opposite of black?

As you can see, there are several correct answers which, as is so often the case, depend on the context.

If you enjoyed this discussion about context and its consequences, you might also enjoy this article. It looks at the different ways that numbers are pronounced, depending on the context in which they appear.

Did I miss any out? Please use the comments to let us know what you think.

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