verb (1)
\ ˈblō How to pronounce blow (audio) \
blew\ ˈblü How to pronounce blow (audio) \; blown\ ˈblōn How to pronounce blow (audio) \; blowing

Definition of blow

 (Entry 1 of 5)

intransitive verb

1a 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.
3a : to make a sound by or as if by blowing hear the train blow
b of a wind instrument : sound entry 2 a horn blowing waiting for the whistle to blow
4a : boast blowing about his accomplishments
b : to talk in an empty or boastful way … if it wasn't true, and he was just blowing, it wouldn't be so hard to take.— James Jones
5a : 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
7a : 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

transitive verb

1a : 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.
2a : to play or sound on (a wind instrument) blow their horns
b : to play (something) on a wind instrument blow a tune
3a : to spread by report … through the court his courtesy was blown— John Dryden
b past participle blowed\ ˈblōd How to pronounce blow (audio) \ : damn blow the expense
4a : 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
5a : 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
8a : 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
9a : 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
12a : botch sense 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 chunks
slang : vomit sense 1 The basement is the sort of dim, subterranean space the players don't seem to mind trashing, and every now and then, one of them will turn to a corner and urinate or blow chunks.— Jonathon Blum
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


noun (1)

Definition of blow (Entry 2 of 5)

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 blow entry 1) 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


verb (2)
blew\ ˈblü How to pronounce blow (audio) \; blown\ ˈblōn How to pronounce blow (audio) \; blowing

Definition of blow (Entry 3 of 5)

intransitive verb

: flower, bloom I know a bank where the wild thyme blows— Shakespeare


noun (2)

Definition of blow (Entry 4 of 5)

1 : blossoms
2 : bloom entry 2 sense 1b lilacs in full blow


noun (3)

Definition of blow (Entry 5 of 5)

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

Synonyms for blow

Synonyms: Verb (1)

Synonyms: Noun (1)

Synonyms: Verb (2)

Synonyms: Noun (3)

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First Known Use of blow

Verb (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun (1)

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1710, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (3)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for blow

Verb (1) and Noun (1)

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

Verb (2) and Noun (2)

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

Noun (3)

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

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Time Traveler for blow

Time Traveler

The first known use of blow was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Blow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for blow


\ ˈblō How to pronounce blow (audio) \
blew\ ˈblü \; blown\ ˈblōn \; blowing

Kids Definition of blow

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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.
blow over
: to pass without effect His anger will blow over.
blow up
2 : to fill with a gas blow up a balloon

Other Words from blow

blower \ ˈblō-​ər \ noun



Kids Definition of blow (Entry 2 of 3)

: a blowing of wind : gale



Kids Definition of blow (Entry 3 of 3)

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.


transitive verb
\ ˈblō How to pronounce blow (audio) \
blew\ ˈblü How to pronounce blow (audio) \; blown\ ˈblōn How to pronounce blow (audio) \; blowing

Medical Definition of blow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



Medical Definition of blow (Entry 2 of 2)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on blow

Nglish: Translation of blow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of blow for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about blow


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