blow

1 of 5

verb (1)

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

intransitive verb

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 : sound entry 2
a horn blowing
waiting for the whistle to blow
4
a
: 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
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

transitive verb

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 ˈblōd How to pronounce blow (audio) : 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 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

2 of 5

noun (1)

1
: an instance of air moving with speed or force : a blowing of wind especially when strong or violent
2
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

blow

3 of 5

verb (2)

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

intransitive verb

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

blow

4 of 5

noun (2)

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

blow

5 of 5

noun (3)

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
Phrases
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

Word History

Etymology

Verb (1) and Noun (1)

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

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near blow

Cite this Entry

“Blow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blow. Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

blow 1 of 4

verb

blew ˈblü How to pronounce blow (audio) ; blown ˈblōn How to pronounce blow (audio) ; blowing
1
: to move or become moved especially rapidly or with power
wind blowing from the north
2
: to send forth a strong stream of air (as from the mouth)
blow on your soup
3
: to drive or become driven by a stream of air
trees blown down
4
a
: to make a sound or cause to sound by or as if by blowing
blow a horn
blow a whistle
b
: to project by blowing
blow a kiss
5
a
: to breathe hard or rapidly : pant
b
of a whale : to force moisture-filled air out of the lungs through the blowhole
6
a
: to melt when overloaded
the fuse blew
b
: to cause (a fuse) to blow
7
: to open or break or tear apart by too much pressure
blew a seal
the tire blew out
8
: to clear by forcing air through
blew his nose
9
: to produce or shape by the action of blown or otherwise forced air
blow bubbles
blow glass
10
: to shatter, burst, or destroy by explosion
11
: to spend recklessly
blew all the money in one day
12
b
: to lose or miss (as an opportunity) especially through clumsiness
blew my chance

blow

2 of 4

noun

1
: a blowing of wind especially when strong or violent
2
: a forcing of air from the mouth or nose or through an instrument

blow

3 of 4

verb

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

blow

4 of 4

noun

1
: a hard hit using a part of the body or an instrument
2
: an unfriendly act : combat
come to blows
3
: a sudden act or effort
solve all our problems with one blow
4
: a sudden disaster
a heavy blow to the nation

Medical Definition

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

blow

2 of 2

noun

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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