1

blow

verb \ ˈblō \
Updated on: 28 Feb 2018

Definition of blow

blew play \ˈblü\; blown play \ˈblōn\; blowing
1 a of air
(1) : to be in motion
  • A breeze blew gently.
(2) : to move with speed or force
  • The wind was blowing.
b : to move or run quickly
  • The linebacker blew past the tackle.
2 : to send forth a current of air or other gas
  • Don't blow on your soup.
3 a : to make a sound by or as if by blowing
  • hear the train blow
b of a wind instrument : 2sound
  • a horn blowing
  • waiting for the whistle to blow
4 a : boast
  • blowing about his accomplishments
b : to talk windily
5 a : pant, gasp
  • The horse blew heavily.
b of a cetacean : to eject moisture-laden air from the lungs through the blowhole
  • heard a whale blow nearby
6 : to move or be carried by or as if by wind
  • just blew into town for the weekend
7 a : erupt, explode
  • The bridge was about to blow.
  • The windows blew out in the explosion.
b : to become damaged or destroyed as a result of an electrical overload
  • The fuse blew.
  • A Western Massachusetts Electric Company power substation blew yesterday afternoon, cutting power for 90 minutes to more than 9,100 customers …
  • —Patrick Johnson
c of a tire : to release the contained air through a spontaneous rupture usually used with out
  • blew out a tire
8 US slang, sometimes vulgar : to be extremely bad in quality or execution : suck, stink
  • So how come this oddball dramedy … never received a U.S. theatrical release … !? Oh, yeah, it blows.
  • —Bruce Fretts
1 a : to set (gas or vapor) in motion
  • The fan blew hot air on us.
b : to act on with a current of gas or vapor
  • The breeze blew my hair dry.
2 a : to play or sound on (a wind instrument)
  • blow their horns
b : to play (something) on a wind instrument
  • blow a tune
3 a : to spread by report
  • … through the court his courtesy was blown
  • —John Dryden
b past participle blowed play \ˈblōd\ : damn
  • blow the expense
4 a : to drive with a current of gas or vapor
  • The storm blew the boat off course.
b : to clear of contents by forcible passage of a current of air
  • blow your nose
c : to project (a gesture or sound made with the mouth) by blowing
  • blew him a kiss
5 a : to distend with or as if with gas
  • blow a balloon
b : to produce or shape by the action of blown or injected air
  • blowing bubbles
6 of insects : to deposit eggs or larvae on or in
  • wounds blown by flies
7 : to shatter, burst, or destroy by explosion
  • blow the safe open
8 a : to put out of breath with exertion
  • Take care not to blow the horses.
b : to let (an animal, such as a horse) pause to catch the breath
  • paused to blow the horses
9 a : to expend (something, such as money) extravagantly
  • blew her allowance on a pair of jeans
b : to treat with unusual expenditure
  • I'll blow you to a steak.
10 : to cause (a fuse) to blow
  • blew a fuse
11 : to rupture by too much pressure
  • blow a seal
12 a : botch 1
  • actors blowing their lines
b : to fail to keep or hold
  • They blew a big lead.
c : to lose or miss (an opportunity) because of mistakes or poor judgment
  • blow a chance to make a good impression
13 : to leave hurriedly
  • blew town
14 : to propel with great force or speed
  • blew a fastball by the batter
15 US, informal : to drive or speed through or past (a traffic signal or stop sign) without stopping
  • He blew several red lights and stop signs before smashing into a pole and a fence, cops said.
  • —Jessica Simeone et al.
blow a gasket
: to become enraged
blow hot and cold
: to be favorable at one moment and adverse the next
blow off steam
: to release pent-up emotions
blow one's cool
: to lose one's composure
blow one's cover
: to reveal one's real identity
blow one's mind
: to overwhelm one with wonder or bafflement
  • an idea that's sure to blow your mind
blow one's top or blow one's stack
1 : to become violently angry
2 : to go crazy
blow smoke
: to speak idly, misleadingly, or boastfully
blow the whistle
: to call public or official attention to something (such as a wrongdoing) kept secret usually used with on
  • blew the whistle on the firm's unethical practices

Origin and Etymology of blow

Middle English, from Old English blāwan; akin to Old High German blāen to blow, Latin flare, Greek phallos penis

First Known Use: before 12th century

in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


2

blow

noun

Definition of blow

1 : an instance of air moving with speed or force : a blowing of wind especially when strong or violent
2 : brag, boasting
3 : an act or instance of blowing (see 1blow)
  • gave his nose a good blow
  • a blow of the horn
4 metallurgy
a : the time during which air is forced through molten metal to refine it
b : the quantity of metal refined during that time
5 slang : cocaine

Origin and Etymology of blow

see 1blow

First Known Use: 1592

in the meaning defined at sense 1


3

blow

verb

Definition of blow

blew play \ˈblü\; blown play \ˈblōn\; blowing
: flower, bloom
  • I know a bank where the wild thyme blows
  • —Shakespeare

Origin and Etymology of blow

Middle English, from Old English blōwan; akin to Old High German bluoen to bloom, Latin florēre to bloom, flor-, flos flower

First Known Use: before 12th century

in the meaning defined above


4

blow

noun

Definition of blow

1 : blossoms
2 : 2bloom 1b
  • lilacs in full blow

Origin and Etymology of blow

see 3blow

First Known Use: 1710

in the meaning defined at sense 1


5

blow

noun

Definition of blow

1 : a forcible stroke delivered with a part of the body (such as the fist) or with an instrument
  • a mighty blow with his club
  • boxers exchanging blows
2 : a hostile act or state : combat
  • nations coming to blows
3 : a forcible or sudden act or effort : assault
  • … such a language … would solve many of his … difficulties at a single blow.
  • —Edward Sapir
4 : an unfortunate or calamitous happening
  • failure to land the job came as a blow

Origin and Etymology of blow

Middle English (northern dialect) blaw; probably akin to Old High German bliuwan to beat

First Known Use: 15th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1


BLOW Defined for Kids

1

blow

verb \ ˈblō \

Definition of blow for Students

blew \ˈblü\; blown \ˈblōn\; blowing
1 : to move or be moved usually with speed and force
  • Wind is blowing from the north.
  • The door blew shut.
2 : to move in or with the wind
  • Dust blew through the cracks.
3 : to send forth a strong stream of air from the mouth or from a bellows
  • If you are cold, blow on your hands.
4 : to make a sound or cause to sound by blowing
  • The whistle blows loudly.
  • Blow your horn.
5 : to clear by forcing air through
  • Blow your nose.
6 : to shape by forcing air into
  • The workers showed how they blow glass.
7 : to enter or leave very quickly
  • She blew into the room.
8 : to fail in performing or keeping
  • The actor blew his lines.
  • The team blew a big lead.

blower

\ˈblō-ər\ noun
blow over
: to pass without effect
  • His anger will blow over.
blow up
1 : explode 1
2 : to fill with a gas
  • blow up a balloon

2

blow

noun

Definition of blow for Students

: a blowing of wind : gale

3

blow

noun

Definition of blow for Students

1 : a hard hit with a part of the body or an object
  • a hammer's blow
  • a blow to the head
2 : a sudden happening that causes suffering or loss
  • The dog's death was a severe blow.

Medical Dictionary

1

blow

transitive verb \ ˈblō \

medical Definition of blow

blew play \ˈblü\; blown play \ˈblōn\; blowing
1 : to free (the nose) of mucus and debris by forcible exhalation
2 of blowflies and flesh flies : to deposit eggs or larvae on or in

2

blow

noun

medical Definition of blow

1 : the act of some insects of depositing eggs or larvae; also : a larva so deposited (as in a wound) used chiefly of blowflies and flesh flies
2 : forcible ejection of air from the body (as in freeing the nose of mucus and debris)
3 slang : cocaine


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