1 of 2


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

blue ribbon

2 of 2


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

Example Sentences

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
Related Stories The Podcast Academy received a record 1,700 submissions this year, which were narrowed down by a blue-ribbon panel of judges — who apply every year to be part of the panel — to determine the nominees in each category. J. Clara Chan, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Feb. 2023 Presidential blue-ribbon panels bulwarked the Social Security program in 1983 and overhauled NASA’s space shuttle program after the 1986 Challenger disaster. The Editors, Scientific American, 24 Feb. 2023
DeBlanc retired from the force as a lieutenant in 1974 and later served on a blue ribbon panel that hired William J. Bratton as police chief in 2002. Libor Jany, Los Angeles Times, 17 Mar. 2023 The actress also accessorized with a symbolic blue ribbon made by refugees in a partnership with the UN Refugee Agency. Hedy Phillips, Peoplemag, 12 Mar. 2023 The actress also paired the look with matching pearl earrings and a bright blue ribbon on her right shoulder. Zizi Strater, Peoplemag, 21 Feb. 2023 Last year, Wynston’s For the Wynn chocolate was one of only four ice creams in the U.S. to earn a coveted first-place blue ribbon for the nation’s best chocolate ice cream. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Feb. 2023 Ceramic Ceramic pie pans are the blue ribbon winners for beauty with gorgeous colored glazes and detailed shapes. Belle Duchene, Better Homes & Gardens, 30 Jan. 2023 They are selected through a confidential process, then reviewed by blue ribbon panels appointed by state departments of education and finalized by the Milken Family Foundation. Nicole Asbury, Washington Post, 10 Jan. 2023 In its final report assessing the state of U.S. climate policy, the committee says that more than 300 of its 715 policy recommendations have been enacted—an unusually high success rate for normally wheezy D.C. blue ribbon panels. Justin Worland, Time, 14 Dec. 2022 Amy becomes a full-timer at a blue ribbon studio gallery and Lino scouts for opportunity in the city’s elite culinary scene. Malik Peay, Essence, 24 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use


1860, in the meaning defined above


1651, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of blue-ribbon was in 1651

Dictionary Entries Near blue-ribbon

blue riband


blue ribbon

Cite this Entry

“Blue-ribbon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2023.

Kids Definition

blue ribbon

: a blue ribbon awarded the first-place winner in a competition

Legal Definition


: consisting of individuals selected for quality, reputation, or authority
a blue-ribbon committee
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Challenging Standardized Test Words, Vol. 2

  • a pencil broken in half on top of a test answer sheet
  • The business’s new computer system proved not to be a panacea.
True or False

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

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?