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)

Keep scrolling for more

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 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 Action in the 400-meters saw Devin Lara bag the blue ribbon in 59.91 seconds, narrowly defeating Miller’s Erick Pedroza and his one-minute run. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Bondy girls prevent Thompson Intermediate track sweep," 11 Mar. 2020 The office was even one of the main points of focus for a blue ribbon panel in 2015 charged with reforming the U.S. biodefense system. Nicholas Florko, STAT, "This tiny federal agency was built to respond to a crisis like coronavirus. Now that it’s here, is BARDA ready?," 6 Apr. 2020 Volunteers have already tied blue ribbons around trees at the health system’s eight hospital campuses. Brendel Hightower, Detroit Free Press, "Blue porch lights, flashlights are new way to show support for health care workers," 31 Mar. 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.

See More

First Known Use of blue-ribbon


1860, in the meaning defined above


1651, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about blue-ribbon

Time Traveler for blue-ribbon

Time Traveler

The first known use of blue-ribbon was in 1651

See more words from the same year

Statistics for blue-ribbon

Cite this Entry

“Blue-ribbon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for blue-ribbon



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

More from Merriam-Webster on blue-ribbon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for blue-ribbon

Comments on blue-ribbon

What made you want to look up blue-ribbon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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