black market—an illegal market in which goods or currencies are bought and sold in violation of price controls, rationing, etc.:
- Drugs are sold at the black market and they can do much more damage than cigarettes can in most cases.
Note: The expression is not antonymous in meaning to the phrase white sale—a sale at reduced prices of goods such as towels, linens, etc.:
- We went to the white sale at the department store to buy some new sheets before my parents come to visit.
gray market—the retail business operating within the law but selling goods, such as imports, at prices below those set by an official agency:
- Also affected by the gray market activities are highly technical products such as disc drives, computers, computer chips.