\ 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 Elsewhere in the country, blue state senators have resubmitted the names of prospective judges whose nominations, like Jongbloed’s, expired for partisan reasons beyond their control. Edmund H. Mahony,, "Diversity a premium as Democrats race to fill an unusual number of openings on Connecticut’s U.S. District Court," 3 May 2021 The American Jobs Plan is a blue-collar blueprint to build America. ABC News, "'This Week' Transcript 5-2-21: Jake Sullivan, Sen. John Barrasso, Adm. Mike Mullen & Dr. Ashish Jha," 2 May 2021 New coach Dan Campbell wanted to build a blue-collar team that matched the ethos of the city and wasn’t afraid to bite a few kneecaps. C.j. Doon,, "2021 NFL draft: Grades and analysis for all 32 picks in the first round," 30 Apr. 2021 With hulking pieces of beer-making equipment punctuating the site, the Pearl dresses up in the brewery’s blue-collar history. Greg Jefferson, San Antonio Express-News, "Jefferson: Can the Pearl's runaway success be replicated at the old Lone Star Brewery site?," 30 Apr. 2021 Women in local office do not fall along a red-state, blue-state divide. cleveland, "Ohio ranks below national average in percentage of women holding elected city, township offices," 30 Apr. 2021 Brown is a bit of a polarizing figure, a Republican in a blue state, with ties to Donald Trump’s administration., "Former senator Scott Brown played a pivotal role in bringing back road races next month," 29 Apr. 2021 Still, though California is a solidly blue state, many on the Right have seen a recall election as their opportunity to win it back. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Enough verified signatures submitted to qualify for recall of California Gov. Gavin Newsom," 26 Apr. 2021 From the national perspective, California is a deep blue state completely run by Democrats. Zachary B. Wolf And Maeve Reston, CNN, "What Caitlyn Jenner's launch means for the brewing California recall," 24 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the seven places with five-color systems, three use a shade of blue. Amanda Shendruk, Quartz, "These are the colorful and confusing Covid-19 alerts used around the world," 23 Apr. 2021 The manually wound, 2.5Hz movement’s aluminum skeleton is vividly anodized in electrifying shades of red, orange, purple and two hues of blue. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, "Franck Muller’s New Vanguard Skeleton Is a Like Telling Time With a Rainbow," 21 Apr. 2021 This image, by contrast, has some orange along with shades of white and a surprising amount of blue, but how can this be? Mike Wehner, BGR, "This Mars image looks unreal, and it sort of is," 8 Apr. 2021 Opt for shades of blue to match the ocean and lightweight fabrics like linen and silk to keep you cool. Michelle Stansbury, Marie Claire, "The Instagram Guide to St. Lucia," 8 Apr. 2021 The various shades of blue used throughout — in the cabinets, the kitchen backsplash and the curtains that frame the sliding doors leading to the backyard — lend it a cool, crisp air. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "Historic Alta Vista bungalow renovated from 1980s disaster to a charming, sunny little jewel box in heart of San Antonio," 8 Apr. 2021 It’s somewhere between a muted purple with a dash of blue. Julie Loffredi, Forbes, "Pastel Nail Polish Colors Are Hot This Spring," 5 Apr. 2021 Inside, hardwood floors and splashes of blue in the kitchen offset the whitewashed floor plan. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, "‘Riverdale’ creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa sells historic Nichols Canyon haunt," 31 Mar. 2021 And all light browns go well with every shade of blue. Lois Fenton, Arkansas Online, "Blue, black, brown -- tips on which pairings work," 21 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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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

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Blue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 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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