\ 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 Funds that buy bonds of blue-chip companies like Coca-Cola Co. and Microsoft Corp. have lost about 4% this year, according to data from Bloomberg Barclays, counting price changes and interest payments. Matt Wirz, WSJ, "Investor Appetite Dwindles for Blue-Chip Bond Funds Amid Losses," 7 Apr. 2021 Additionally, Kardashian West was gifted a portfolio of blue-chip investments from her soon-to-be ex-husband Kanye West in 2017, including shares of Disney, Amazon, Netflix and Adidas. Antonio Ferme,, "Kim Kardashian West is officially a billionaire, according to Forbes’ annual list," 6 Apr. 2021 The tournament's clear favorite, Gonzaga, faces one of the bluest of blue-chip programs that's back on the upswing and turning heads. Jason Hanna, CNN, "Final Four: Gonzaga's the favorite, but all the teams have great basketball stories to tell," 3 Apr. 2021 Recruiting insider Paul Biancardi hinted on Saturday’s telecast that the number will soon grow to nine with Nembhard likely to be added to the blue-chip list. Buddy Collings,, "Montverde tops Sunrise for GEICO Nationals crown," 3 Apr. 2021 By contrast, the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the month of March up by 6.6 percent, its best month since November. NBC News, "S&P 500 closes above 4,000 for the first time," 1 Apr. 2021 Put him in the top 10, then remove one of those other blue-chip players and put them in the basket of assets the Giants will have at their disposal at their pick. Pat Leonard,, "NFL draft QB frenzy benefits Giants as Joe Judge hits another pass-rusher pro day," 29 Mar. 2021 That’s significantly higher than the value that investors typically assign to blue-chip financial services companies. Erin Griffith, New York Times, "The Start-Up Enemies of Wall Street Are Booming," 29 Mar. 2021 Plus, would Beard’s style, focused more on transfers and under-the-radar guys than blue-chip recruits, play in Austin? Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, "Breaking down candidates to replace Shaka Smart at Texas, including Chris Beard and Royal Ivey," 26 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Just a notification, out of the blue, that they’d be removed to make way for a new project from First Tee, an organization focused on young golfers. Mary Schmich,, "Column: Paul’s linden. Scott’s ginkgo. Two families hope to save their memorial trees from being axed for a putting green," 6 Apr. 2021 If disability or treatment comes out of the blue, establishing a durable power of attorney ahead of time can help in case the principal becomes disabled. Forbes, "4 Wealth Planning Considerations For Clients With Illnesses Or Disabilities," 6 Apr. 2021 Months later, González got a call out of the blue from Mary Vernieu, Robert Rodriguez’s casting director. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, "‘Godzilla vs. Kong’s’ Eiza González is a star in Mexico. Why do so few know her in the U.S.?," 2 Apr. 2021 Nobody called or texted McDonald out of the blue to threaten or sell anything. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Roku setup, activation scam doesn't include cold calls, bogus links: What to know," 31 Mar. 2021 Then, in the winter of 2016-17, seemingly out of the blue, came Larson’s tunnel plan. Tom Condon,, "$17B Hartford highway plan includes tunnels, 3 new bridges and riverfront park; new neighborhood proposed in East Hartford," 19 Mar. 2021 In one of them, a 75-year-old Chinese woman was approached by a 39-year-old man who started punching her out of the blue. Fox News, "San Francisco police arrest 3 in recent Chinatown attack," 18 Mar. 2021 The team hoped to wear the powder blue uniforms, but with Michigan wearing its traditional home navy blue, that was no longer an option. Stefan Krajisnik, The Indianapolis Star, "Indiana DC Kane Wommack pays tribute to 'The Dickens Boys,' hopes it brings good luck," 6 Nov. 2020 Chinese banks issued their first blue and carbon-neutral bonds in recent months. Greg Ritchie, Fortune, "Bond investors face baffling $2 trillion rainbow of ethical debt," 27 Mar. 2021 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,, "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,, "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,, "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,, "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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Learn More about blue

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

13 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Blue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for blue



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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More from Merriam-Webster on blue

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for blue

Nglish: Translation of blue for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of blue for Arabic Speakers

Comments on blue

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