Black and white

Idiom

Black and white

Definition

This idiom is used to refer to something that is clear-cut or absolute. It implies that there is no room for interpretation or ambiguity.

Examples

I need you to tell me the facts in black and white.

The contract was signed in black and white, so there’s no room for debate.

Origin

This phrase originated in the early 17th century as a reference to the black and white keys on a keyboard instrument. It was later used to refer to a clear-cut distinction between two things.

Faqs

Which two colors does the phrase ‘black and white’ refer to?

What does the phrase ‘black and white’ mean?

When did the phrase ‘black and white’ originate?