Bloc or Block?

What is the difference between bloc and block?

A bloc is a group or an alliance (usually of countries) united by a common interest.

Block has lots of meanings (see below).

Bloc and Block

Writers sometimes confuse bloc and block. Although they sound identical, their meanings are different. That said, block has many meanings, one of which is close in meaning to bloc. When it means a collection of things, block is very similar in meaning to bloc (which denotes a group or an alliance).


The noun, bloc means a group or an alliance united by a common interest. The members of a bloc are willing participants. Bloc most commonly refers to a group of nations, but it can be a group of anything that has decided to form a team. Examples:


As a noun, block has many meanings, the most common of which are:

A large solid piece of material (e.g. stone, wood), typically with flat surfaces. A place where someone's head is rested prior to beheading or a small slab (often wooden) for cutting and preparing food. A frame with footrests used by sprinters to improve their start (usually blocks). The main part of an internal combustion engine which houses the pistons. A building comprising flats (or apartments). A group of buildings bounded by four streets. A large quantity of things regarded as a unit (i.e., a collection). Note: This is the meaning which is closest to bloc, which means a group or an alliance (usually of willing participants).

An act of blocking someone or something. An area of colour/color (usually on a flat surface). As a verb, to block means:

To obstruct or prevent movement or flow. (Note: The past participle is blocked, and the present participle is blocking. They come from the verb to block, and they are being used as adjectives.)

To prevent an activity or planned activity.

Block of Voters or Bloc of Voters?

It is possible to have a block of voters and a bloc of voters. Here's the difference:

Writers' Bloc - A Play on Words

There is a website called "Writers Bloc." This is a play on words. It denotes a group of writers who have come together to help each other.

("Writers' block" is condition in which an author loses the ability to produce new work.)

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See Also

What are nouns? What are verbs? What are past participles? What are present participles? List of easily confused words