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Block (v. t.) A grooved pulley or sheave incased in a frame or shell which is provided with a hook, eye, or strap, by which it may be attached to an object. It is used to change the direction of motion, as in raising a heavy object that can not be conveniently reached, and also, when two or more such sheaves are compounded, to change the rate of motion, or to exert increased force; -- used especially in the rigging of ships, and in tackles.