Definition of blue-ribbon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of outstanding quality especially : consisting of individuals selected for quality, reputation, or authority a blue-ribbon panel

blue ribbon


Definition of blue ribbon (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an honor or award gained for preeminence
2 : a blue ribbon awarded as an honor (as to the first-place winner in a competition)

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Examples of blue-ribbon in a Sentence

Noun Our pumpkin won the blue ribbon at the county fair this year. the Pritzker Prize is widely regarded as the ultimate blue ribbon for architectural achievement
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The school board actually waited two years to implement a resolution passed in 2018, requiring a blue ribbon panel to study school names and submit recommendations for changes. Jill Tucker,, "S.F. might change 44 school names, renouncing Washington, Lincoln and even Dianne Feinstein," 15 Oct. 2020 His small group of men wore their pink-and-blue ribbon alongside the thousands of women and their pink ribbons, as a reminder of their journey. Yvette Orozco, Houston Chronicle, "Survivor uses humor to spread message about male breast cancer," 8 Oct. 2020 Conversely, almost none of the blue ribbon free agents who play other positions – ones that theoretically lend themselves to an easier onboarding process than quarterback – have made much of an impact this year. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "NFL's 20 biggest surprises at quarter-season mark: Rookies thriving, free agents floundering," 8 Oct. 2020 My favorite part of this tree is how all the elements are tied together with a navy blue ribbon ($10, Amazon). Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, "These Fall Displays Will Give You An Excuse to Put the Christmas Tree Up Early," 24 Sep. 2020 All those who complete a run will be given a blue ribbon, but their times will not be tracked or recorded. Kimberly Fornek,, "Hinsdale Rotary Run Charity Classic will be a do-it-yourselfer in 2020," 9 Sep. 2020 These crop artists don’t do it for the blue ribbon. Jenna Ross, Star Tribune, "Minnesota crop artists grow creative amid the pandemic," 25 Aug. 2020 Mostly because her granddaughter used the same family recipe and won the blue ribbon. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "How COVID-19 broke this 89-year-old home baker's 70-year Kentucky State Fair streak," 20 Aug. 2020 However the park will not be accepting any competitive entries that are typically associated with the fair, such as blue ribbon items. Zoi Walker, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah will still have its annual state fair during the pandemic — with some changes," 15 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blue-ribbon.' 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-ribbon


1860, in the meaning defined above


1651, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for blue-ribbon

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The first known use of blue-ribbon was in 1651

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Cite this Entry

“Blue-ribbon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

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English Language Learners Definition of blue-ribbon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

US : made up of people who have special knowledge, abilities, etc.

blue ribbon


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

chiefly US : a decorative piece of blue cloth that is given to the winner in a contest or competition

blue ribbon


Kids Definition of blue ribbon

: a decorative ribbon colored blue that is given to the winner in a competition



Legal Definition of blue-ribbon

: consisting of individuals selected for quality, reputation, or authority a blue-ribbon committee

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