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Definition of "blackleg" [black•leg]

  • An infectious, usually fatal bacterial disease of cattle and sometimes of sheep, goats, and swine, caused by Clostridium chauvoe and characterized by gas-containing swellings in the musculature. (noun)
  • A bacterial or fungal disease of certain plants, such as the cabbage and potato, that causes the stems to turn black at the soil line. (noun)
  • One who cheats at cards; a cardsharp. (noun)
  • Chiefly British A worker who is opposed to trade unions; a scab. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "blackleg" in a sentence
  • "One of their number stood out, refusing to join the combine; whereupon the rest summoned the gang and had the "blackleg" pressed for his contumacy."
  • "BURNS -- who has stuck loyally to Council -- fiercely denounced as a "blackleg" by crowd."
  • "He thinks I am a kind of blackleg, not true to my principles; or rather he thinks that I am not a Christian at all, and only call myself one for the sake of the associations."