\ ˈblü How to pronounce blue (audio) \
bluer; bluest

Definition of blue

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : of the color whose hue is that of the clear sky : of the color blue (see blue entry 2 sense 1) a blue jacket her bright blue eyes The house is blue with white shutters.
2a : bluish the blue haze of tobacco smoke
b : discolored by or as if by bruising blue with cold
c : bluish gray a blue cat
3a : low in spirits : melancholy has been feeling blue
b : marked by low spirits : depressing a blue funk things looked blue
4 : wearing blue the blue team
5 of a woman : learned, intellectual … the ladies were very blue and well-informed …— W. M. Thackeray
6 : puritanical … a blue Sunday city …— James Street
7a : profane, indecent a blue movie
b : off-color, risqué blue jokes
8 music : of, relating to, or used in blues (see blues sense 3) a blue song
9 US politics : tending to support Democratic candidates or policies As has become increasingly clear over the past few general elections, with their red states and blue states, an American Presidential campaign is no longer truly national.— Hendrik Hertzberg — compare purple sense 3, red sense 5
blue in the face
: extremely exasperated argued until he was blue in the face



Definition of blue (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a color whose hue is that of the clear sky or that of the portion of the color spectrum lying between green and violet Blue is his favorite color. shades of blue
2a : a pigment or dye that colors blue
b : bluing adding blue to the laundry
3a : blue clothing or cloth will be wearing blue
b blues plural : a blue costume or uniform wearing their dress blues
4a : a Union soldier in the American Civil War
b often capitalized : the Union army the Blue versus the Gray
5a(1) : sky
(2) : the far distance disappeared into the blue
b : sea
6 : a blue object
7 : bluestocking praised the writings of her fellow blues
8 biology : any of numerous small chiefly blue butterflies (family Lycaenidae)
9 : bluefish fishing for blues
11 physics : one of the three colors (see color entry 1 sense 15) that quarks have in the theory of quantum chromodynamics One cannot have a single quark on its own because it would have a color (red, green, or blue). Instead, a red quark has to be joined to a green and a blue quark by a "string" of gluons (red + green + blue = white). Such a triplet constitutes a proton or a neutron.— Stephen Hawking
out of the blue
: without advance notice : unexpectedly the job offer came out of the blue


blued; blueing or bluing; blues

Definition of blue (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to make (something) blue in color: such as
a : to dye, tint, or paint (something) blue Last, the generation of the grandmothers, in immaculately blued hair…— John Updike Tattoos blued his upper arms.— Jerry Spinelli
b : to heat (iron or steel) to about 550 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit so that it acquires a protective bluish coating the blued barrel of the gun Between banks shrouded with snow, the river gleamed darkly, like blued steel with gold chips of sunlight dancing on each riffle.— Pete Bodo

intransitive verb

: to turn blue their blueing fingers
blue the air
: to curse angrily He sliced the air with his fists and blued the air with his mouth.— Steve Kelley I have been stealing my father's copy (of Massachusetts Wildlife) for a long time, but last week he found an issue on my desk and blued the air a bit.— Stephen King Donovan

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Other Words from blue


bluely adverb
blueness noun

Examples of blue in a Sentence

Adjective shocked at the blue banter she heard on that satellite-radio talk show a cold, dreary day always leaves me blue Noun Her favorite color is blue. a mixture of blues and greens They sailed off into the blue.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Two years ago, Democrat Joanna Cattanach came within 220 votes of unseating Meyer with a bootstrap campaign that coincided with a blue wave that flipped 12 seats in the Texas House. James Barragán, Dallas News, "After Republicans keep the House in political dogfight, where does Texas politics go?," 19 Nov. 2020 Many other polls this cycle also tended to underrate support for Trump, raising expectations for a commanding Biden win coupled with a blue wave of Democratic wins down-ballot. Melanie Mason Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "As Trump attacks election outcome, Americans are less confident in the vote count, USC poll finds," 19 Nov. 2020 Rose, like Spanberger, was one of the freshman House Democrats elected in 2018’s blue wave. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "Don’t Blame the Left for the Democrats’ Losses," 16 Nov. 2020 Indiana Democrats prepared for a blue wave during the Nov. 3 election that never came. Chris Sikich, The Indianapolis Star, "After far-reaching election losses, Indiana Democrats look for answers," 16 Nov. 2020 The loss of seats in the House, the nonappearance of the blue wave and the losses in state legislatures all suggest the electorate’s rejection of the very ideas progressives have been noisily and assiduously pushing. WSJ, "Progressives May Lead the Democrats Astray," 12 Nov. 2020 But the blue wave the Democratic Party anticipated in 2020 never materialized. Matt Wynn, USA TODAY, "Tens of thousands left the president option blank, though 'undervotes' were down from 2016," 11 Nov. 2020 In Miami-Dade and across Florida, no blue wave was emerging. Stephania Taladrid, The New Yorker, "As Trump Gained Latino Support in Florida, Biden’s Campaign Ignored Warnings," 10 Nov. 2020 And the fact that Republicans held off a blue wave removes the threat of higher taxes and sweeping legislation on climate. Matt Egan, CNN, "Wall Street to Trump: It's over. This isn't a repeat of 2000," 10 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun To the grad school colleague who mails postcards out of the blue. Yoshiko Iwai, Scientific American, "A Medical Student Contemplates Pandemic-Era Isolation...and Connection," 23 Oct. 2020 Scammers often are not just calling you out of the blue. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "These scams are heating up during the COVID-19 pandemic," 2 Oct. 2020 Then throw questions to them during the game, randomly, out of the blue. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Rx for the 2020 blues ’n’ blahs: cowhide pills, dispensed by Bay Area writer," 2 Oct. 2020 This late, late show had one highlight out of the blue, however. Mike Hart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Did you see Jamaal Williams 'at' the BYU game?," 28 Sep. 2020 Years later, out of the blue, Dr. Tavakoli received a Facebook message from Ruby’s mother -- reaching out to invite her to Ruby’s baby shower. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Someone San Diego Should Know: Melody Tavakoli," 26 Sep. 2020 Who, after all, sends $6,000 checks out of the blue? Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Mystery shopper, fake job offers target people stretched for cash during pandemic," 25 Sep. 2020 Michigan's Democratic Governor managed to turn the county blue in 2018, winning by 4.1 points, fueled partly by gains in the suburbs that helped Democrats around the country during the midterms. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Top GOP lawmakers dismiss Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power," 24 Sep. 2020 In the mid-1980s, Frank Basile, then an Indianapolis real estate executive, got a call out of the blue from a local theater director. NBC News, "Covid-19 took the life of an Indiana theater director. He championed marginalized voices.," 22 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The home uniforms, which FAU wore versus the 49ers, have blue as the dominant color once again. Khobi Price, sun-sentinel.com, "FAU debuts new jerseys to kick off 20th season, Willie Taggart era," 3 Oct. 2020 To ensure that John Cornyn, Chip Roy and the rest of the Texas Republicans stop putting us in danger, voter blue up and down the ballot in November. Taylor Goldenstein, ExpressNews.com, "Travis County GOP under investigation for COVID-19 order violations," 26 Aug. 2020 There are signs that Texas, due to changing demographics, may be the next Electoral College giant to turn from red, if not to blue, then at least to purple. John A. Farrell, The New Republic, "TNR Newsletters. Must reads. 5 days a week.," 16 Apr. 2020 So why won't blue shampoo cut it for keeping cool brunettes cool? Taylore Glynn, Marie Claire, "Brunettes: Green Shampoo Is Here to Save Your Color," 23 Jan. 2020 Ruscillo has studied the production of the ancient purple dye, including experimenting with it to make colors from pink to blue to almost black, though she isn't involved in the excavations on Chrysi. Fox News, "Gold and jewels found on Minoan Island devoted to the color purple," 12 Dec. 2019 The pair were all smiles for the appearance at St. James’s Palace, where Kate blue a royal blue Issa dress that matched her sapphire engagement ring, which once belonged to William’s mother Princess Diana. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "See the Sweet Photos of Meghan and Harry (and Kate and William!) the Queen Has on Display at Home," 25 July 2019 Give classic orange and blue a dose of edge with abstract prints and a hit of dark à la Samantha Angelo. Laurel Benedum, ELLE Decor, "7 Decadent Rooms Inspired By This Weekend's Chicest Celebrity Outfits," 4 June 2019 Stop painting the same models blue and calling it revolutionary. Sandra Salibian | Wwd, latimes.com, "Designer Jeremy Scott responds to social media controversy about Moschino campaign post," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blue.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of blue


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1606, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for blue

Adjective, Noun, and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French blef, blew, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German blāo blue; akin to Latin flavus yellow

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Time Traveler for blue

Time Traveler

The first known use of blue was in the 13th century

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Statistics for blue

Last Updated

26 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Blue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blue. Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for blue

How to pronounce blue (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of blue

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having the color of the clear sky
: sad or unhappy



English Language Learners Definition of blue (Entry 2 of 2)

: the color of the clear sky
literary : the sky or the sea


\ ˈblü How to pronounce blue (audio) \

Kids Definition of blue

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the color of the clear daytime sky
2 : blue clothing or cloth
out of the blue
: suddenly and unexpectedly

Other Words from blue

bluish adjective
bluer; bluest

Kids Definition of blue (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of the color of the sky : of the color blue blue ink
2 : sad sense 1 Why are you so blue?
\ ˈblü How to pronounce blue (audio) \
bluer; bluest

Medical Definition of blue

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of the color blue



Medical Definition of blue (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a color whose hue is that of the clear sky or that of the portion of the color spectrum lying between green and violet
2 : a pigment or dye that colors blue — see prussian blue

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Comments on blue

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