blue

1 of 3

adjective

bluer; bluest
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.
2
a
: bluish
the blue haze of tobacco smoke
b
: discolored by or as if by bruising
blue with cold
c
: bluish gray
a blue cat
3
a
: 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
7
a
: 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
bluely adverb
blueness noun

blue

2 of 3

noun

plural blues
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
2
a
: a pigment or dye that colors blue
b
: bluing
adding blue to the laundry
3
a
: blue clothing or cloth
will be wearing blue
b
blues plural : a blue costume or uniform
wearing their dress blues
4
a
: a Union soldier in the American Civil War
b
often capitalized : the Union army
the Blue versus the Gray
5
a(1)
: sky
(2)
: the far distance
disappeared into the blue
b
: sea
6
: a blue object
the horse that won the blue [=blue ribbon]
… is bartered … like a stack of blues [=blue chips] in a Reno casino.John Lewis
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
10
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

blue

3 of 3

verb

blued; blueing or bluing; blues

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°F (288 to 316°C) so that it acquires a bluish protective 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
Phrases
blue in the face
: extremely exasperated
argued until he was blue in the face
out of the blue
: without advance notice : unexpectedly
the job offer came out of the blue
blue the air
informal
: 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

Examples of blue in a Sentence

Adjective was shocked at the blue banter 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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Oscar then appeared, cycling up next to him on a blue bike wearing a helmet. Escher Walcott, Peoplemag, 15 July 2024 Get it in pretty colors like light blue or bubblegum pink. Erin Cavoto, Travel + Leisure, 15 July 2024
Noun
What’s much clearer, though, is how our lifestyles contribute to summer blues. Kyle MacNeill, Vogue, 15 July 2024 Their analysis revealed that a relatively common butterfly called the silvery blue is a close relative. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, 15 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for blue 

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1606, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of blue was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near blue

Cite this Entry

“Blue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blue. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

blue

1 of 3 adjective
1
: of the color blue
2
: low in spirits : melancholy
3
: tending to support Democratic policies or candidates
blue states
blueness noun

blue

2 of 3 noun
1
: the color of the clear daytime sky or of the colors of light between green and violet
2
: blue clothing or cloth
3

blue

3 of 3 verb
blued; blueing or bluing
: to make or turn blue

Medical Definition

blue

1 of 2 adjective
bluer; bluest
: of the color blue

blue

2 of 2 noun
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

More from Merriam-Webster on blue

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