\ 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 Once again, clear blue skies and cool breezes are enveloping the Pharmalot campus, where the short person is hovering over a laptop and the fast-growing official mascot is unsuccessfully chasing squirrels. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Pharmalittle: Trump’s Covid-19 vaccine chief has worrisome conflicts; U.S. provides $1.2 billion for AstraZeneca vaccine," 21 May 2020 Nau was fast breeze, green grass, wet shingle, high cloud, and endless blue sky, herself and all these things at once. . . Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, "Chukchi novel tells of a time when humans and whales were kin," 16 May 2020 With blue skies and friendly temperatures outside, hundreds of daytrippers flocked to the downtown area. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "With businesses open, daytrippers descend on Lake Geneva with few masks," 16 May 2020 Kempson was framed by puffy clouds, blue sky, and a bit of wooden rocking chair. Sarah Larson, The New Yorker, "Let Them Eat Daylilies," 11 May 2020 Photos of blue skies and transparent river water circulated on social media, captivating an audience stuck indoors. Saritha Rai, Bloomberg.com, "What It Looks Like When 1.3 Billion People Stay Home," 10 May 2020 But the bright sun and blue sky Thursday seemed a cruel tease. Freep.com, "In Michigan, 22K are ‘recovered’ from COVID. Many still feel like hell," 10 May 2020 Then, as the camera points up toward the blue sky, the sounds of more than a dozen other pops ring out. Ginger Rough, Indianapolis Star, "'No justice, no peace': Crowds gather after Indianapolis police fatally shoot man," 7 May 2020 Though brightly colored, their coloration is in fact a form of camouflage, combining the tropical blue sky, lush green of vegetation and darkness of tropical rainforests. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "The World’s Most Interesting Insects," 29 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Matching sweatsuits can help offset the at-home blues for the majority of people working remotely, but even the coolest tie-dye joggers lose their novelty after eight weeks of nonstop wear. Talia Abbas, Glamour, "The 12 Best Work Pants to Wear If You’re Done With Sweats," 19 May 2020 Flat tire blues: Broadview Road: On April 15, police were dispatched to the Shell gas station after a man changing his tire had the car roll back on his leg. John Benson, cleveland, "Thief steals Independence man’s phone and car keys: Seven Hills Police Blotter," 13 May 2020 As the dreariness of being stuck at home continues, one idea to cure the coronavirus blues is rolling down your car windows, getting some fresh air and setting out for live sightings of giraffes, flamingos and tigers. Nicole Ludden, azcentral, "Cruise the Zoo: Phoenix Zoo offers self-guided drive-thru tours. Here's how to get tickets," 8 May 2020 The blue dominates the poles and equator, and the red dominates the mid-latitude regions in between. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Incredible video shows Hayabusa2 pogo-bouncing off asteroid," 7 May 2020 Follow the music to Mississippi Ramble through the back roads and byways of Mississippi to discover the roots of the Delta blues via the Mississippi Blues Trail app. Dennis Vdw, National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 1 May 2020 Vintage denim blue, margarine yellow, and pistachio ice cream green all were featured throughout, on both outdoor tennis courts on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and 19th-century grandeur establishments in Paris. Eliza Huber, refinery29.com, "These 6 Spring Colour Trends Will Brighten Your Day," 8 Apr. 2020 Rona blues by flooding our timelines with social media challenges. Keyaira Boone, Essence, "The TikTok Challenges Keeping Us Sane Through Social Distancing," 3 Apr. 2020 Now, that’s truly frightening. QB blues There were some positives this season. Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions' miserable season ends as Bob Quinn gets a No. 3 pick and $50M to botch," 30 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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, PEOPLE.com, "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, latimes.com, "Designer Jeremy Scott responds to social media controversy about Moschino campaign post," 26 June 2018 Stop painting the same models blue and calling it revolutionary. Sandra Salibian | Wwd, latimes.com, "Designer Jeremy Scott responds to social media controversy about Moschino campaign post," 26 June 2018 Stop painting the same models blue and calling it revolutionary. Sandra Salibian | Wwd, latimes.com, "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

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Blue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blue. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for blue

How to pronounce blue (audio)

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with blue

Spanish Central: Translation of blue

Nglish: Translation of blue for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of blue for Arabic Speakers

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