\ 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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Noah Thompson, the last standing male, brings a humble, small-town, blue-collar appeal to his tunes. Rodney Ho, ajc, 16 May 2022 Army detachments moved into Chicago’s blue-collar neighborhoods when 700 railroad cars in a switching yard were torched by rioters. Ron Grossman, Chicago Tribune, 13 May 2022 United said the city’s current approach seemed to overlook blue-collar families being squeezed out by rising costs. The Salt Lake Tribune, 13 May 2022 Ward spent six months as an acting student in New York during the early 1960s but quit to take up a series of blue-collar jobs in an array of locales. Clark Collis,, 13 May 2022 Once Upon a Time in Hollywood's Austin Butler will step into Elvis's blue suede shoes, and Tom Hanks will play his foil, Colonel Tom Parker. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, 10 May 2022 At least the former is a strong leader who understands that a country gets ahead through blue-collar grit, family values, and developing an efficient laser-beam-tentacle-to-organ-harvesting-cauldron pipeline. Teddy Wayne, The New Yorker, 9 May 2022 Gull Lake View is billed as a blue collar golf resort for average golfers, mainly because of its moderate pricing — green fees are always less than $100. Scott Kramer, Forbes, 8 May 2022 So no one doubted Sergei Bobrovsky’s inbred, blue-collar toughness. Dave Hyde, Sun Sentinel, 6 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Kershaw has spent his entire 15-year career in Dodger blue. Joe Reedy, ajc, 1 May 2022 As part of Jackie Robinson Day, all major league players, managers, coaches and umpires will wear Robinson's No. 42 in Dodger blue for the first time. Editors, USA TODAY, 15 Apr. 2022 In the short clip, the ‘Destiny’s Child’ artist is seen taking a few swings on her racket, running drills, and performing lunges and push-ups while showing off her toned abs in a navy blue, leopard print two-piece set. Aley Arion, Essence, 31 Mar. 2022 She was flanked by 10 dancers in fluorescent blue framed by a half-circle backdrop that cycled its way through an array of Day-Glo hues. Ed Masley, The Arizona Republic, 21 Mar. 2022 The Airlie comes in a range of colors — as well as different linings — but the classic cotton option in a neutral navy blue is the most popular. Thomas Hindle, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Mar. 2022 Wearing delectable sky-blue with stripes of sunset-pink throughout, Hanyu looked like a Disney prince come to life. Scottie Andrew, CNN, 19 Feb. 2022 Dressed in vibrant blue and backed by a diverse 10-person choir wearing all white, Guyton showed off her massive range in the rendition — starting the song high, and soaring ever higher as her accompaniment filled in. Jon Freeman, Rolling Stone, 13 Feb. 2022 All the pieces in this range are available in classic black and navy blue and in sizes XS to 3XL in petite, regular, and plus fits. Eva Thomas,, 10 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Republicans in Virginia’s 10th, 7th and 2nd districts — all seats targeted by the national GOP — are seeking to unseat the three Democratic congresswomen who flipped their districts to blue in 2018 with major help from suburban voters. Washington Post, 14 Mar. 2022 The home uniforms, which FAU wore versus the 49ers, have blue as the dominant color once again. Khobi Price,, 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,, 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, 16 Apr. 2020 So why won't blue shampoo cut it for keeping cool brunettes cool? Taylore Glynn, Marie Claire, 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, 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,, 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, 4 June 2019 See More

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.

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

Buying Guide

Play with color with paint by number kits for adults selected by our Reviews team.

Learn More About blue

Time Traveler for blue

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near blue



blue acara

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for blue

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Blue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for blue


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on blue

Nglish: Translation of blue for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of blue for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!