blue

1 of 3

adjective

bluer; bluest
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.
2
a
: bluish
the blue haze of tobacco smoke
b
: discolored by or as if by bruising
blue with cold
c
: bluish gray
a blue cat
3
a
: 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
7
a
: 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
bluely adverb
blueness noun

blue

2 of 3

noun

plural blues
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
2
a
: a pigment or dye that colors blue
b
: bluing
adding blue to the laundry
3
a
: blue clothing or cloth
will be wearing blue
b
blues plural : a blue costume or uniform
wearing their dress blues
4
a
: a Union soldier in the American Civil War
b
often capitalized : the Union army
the Blue versus the Gray
5
a(1)
: sky
(2)
: the far distance
disappeared into the blue
b
: sea
6
: a blue object
the horse that won the blue [=blue ribbon]
… is bartered … like a stack of blues [=blue chips] in a Reno casino.John Lewis
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
10
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

blue

3 of 3

verb

blued; blueing or bluing; blues

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°F (288 to 316°C) so that it acquires a bluish protective 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
Phrases
blue in the face
: extremely exasperated
argued until he was blue in the face
out of the blue
: without advance notice : unexpectedly
the job offer came out of the blue
blue the air
informal
: 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

Examples of blue in a Sentence

Adjective was shocked at the blue banter 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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Chris Nava said he was assaulted on Feb. 4 after protesting in Hollywood outside Scientology’s blue building on Fountain Avenue. Noah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times, 21 Feb. 2024 Starting August 15, the hurricane center will also publish an experimental second version of the cone, where the inland spots under watches and warnings will also be colored in red and blue. Alex Harris, Miami Herald, 21 Feb. 2024 Seafarers can add a little pizzaz with the color, though: The boat is available in five hues, including blue, red, orange, gray, and white. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 21 Feb. 2024 This news won’t change the debate over access to blue bubbles. Zak Doffman, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 Everyone dressed in red, white, and blue, and went down to a clearing by the lake where games had been set up. Emily Ziff Griffin, The New Yorker, 21 Feb. 2024 There are blue seats at the bar, one wall that looks like a lava lamp, one wall with sparkles, an inflatable alien and lamps that look like circular spaceships. Carlos Rico, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Feb. 2024 In another pic, the cute tot smiled while sitting on the stairs wearing a blue Moschino outfit. Becca Longmire, Peoplemag, 20 Feb. 2024 Mercer is described as a white man, 5-foot-7 and 180 pounds, with gray hair and blue eyes. Bill Lukitsch, Kansas City Star, 9 Feb. 2024
Noun
In animation, the whooshing and whipping water that Katara bent was gorgeously, and unrealistically, a deep blue. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, 22 Feb. 2024 In this new construction Tennessee home, designer Stephanie Sabbe built character in the guest room, outfitting it in a pair of contrasting, but complementary blues: Sherwin-Williams' Niebla Azul (SW-9137) on the walls and Sherwin-Williams' Blustery Sky (SW-9140) on the trim. Katherine Owen, Southern Living, 22 Feb. 2024 This spring, experiment with the glittering finish over seasonal colors like pastel yellows and soft, muted blues. Annie Blay, Allure, 20 Feb. 2024 For the past 35 years, JFA has been assisting not only jazz musicians, but artists in blues, roots and R&B genres. Melinda Newman, Billboard, 20 Feb. 2024 Provence Joliette Rug is a vintage-looking option with a navy background and faded flowers in light blues, oranges, and pinks. Alida Nugent, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Feb. 2024 Gleaming in the windows of high-end fashion boutiques were python-skin footwear and clothes, often dyed traffic-light green, neon yellow, or electric blue, from Yves Saint Laurent, Jimmy Choo, and Chanel. Rebecca Giggs, The New Yorker, 19 Feb. 2024 The water turns a clear blue against red walls, an unnatural juxtaposition of desert landscape. Cassidy Randall, Rolling Stone, 18 Feb. 2024 Actors in gorgeous period costumes by Susan E. Mickey move serenely around a bare white stage in front of a massive video wall illuminated with ever-changing hues of blues, reds, purples, golds and ombrés. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'blue.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1606, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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

Dictionary Entries Near blue

Cite this Entry

“Blue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blue. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

blue

1 of 3 adjective
1
: of the color blue
2
: low in spirits : melancholy
blueness noun

blue

2 of 3 noun
1
: the color of the clear daytime sky or of the colors of light between green and violet
2
: blue clothing or cloth
3

blue

3 of 3 verb
blued; blueing or bluing
: to make or turn blue

Medical Definition

blue

1 of 2 adjective
bluer; bluest
: of the color blue

blue

2 of 2 noun
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

More from Merriam-Webster on blue

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