\ ˈblər \

Definition of blur

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a smear or stain that obscures
2 : something vaguely or indistinctly perceived The words are just a blur without his glasses. The whole weekend is a blur to me. especially : something moving or occurring too quickly to be clearly seen passed by in a blur of motion


blurred; blurring

Definition of blur (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to obscure or blemish by smearing windows blurred by fingerprints
2 : sully … an act that blurs the grace and blush of modesty.— Shakespeare
3 : to make dim, indistinct, or vague in outline or character His vision was blurred. digitally blur the edges of photographs bluring the line between fact and fiction
4 : to make cloudy or confused time had begun to blur her senses— W. A. White

intransitive verb

1a : to make blurs … the moths tapped and blurred at the window screen …— R. P. Warren
b : move too quickly to be seen clearly … it's like the … ride of a traveling carnival, with eerie lights and sharp turns on the rails and the odd unsettling image that blurs past you.— Adrian McKinty
2 : to become vague or indistinct distinctions between the two are beginning to blur

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Other Words from blur


blurringly \ ˈblər-​iŋ-​lē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for blur

Synonyms: Verb

becloud, befog, cloud, confuse, fog, muddy, obfuscate

Antonyms: Verb

clarify, clear (up), illuminate

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Examples of blur in a Sentence


The tears in my eyes blurred the words on the page. His novel is based on historical occurrences but it blurs the line between fact and fiction. The two events have blurred together in my mind.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Later, during the blur of combine weekend, McCartney hops in an Uber. Kalyn Kahler,, "My Life on the Trade Block," 22 Mar. 2018 Looking back now, our four years of infertility blur together like a bad montage. Claire Gibson, Marie Claire, "My Long, Messy, Beautifully Complicated Path to Adopting My Son," 1 Oct. 2018 Dodgers Williams said the rest of that period in 2012 is a blur. Ed Barkowitz,, "Where Phillies, MLB leaders were drafted," 3 June 2018 And so the trip went, a dizzying glide of flavors and destinations, the city passing by in a blur out the windows of a minivan that had been procured for our passage from one groaning table loaded with goodies to the next. Mark Rozzo, Town & Country, "Hong Kong Foodie," 1 Nov. 2012 All these games were designed for standard-definition CRTs, where the inherent blur of scanlines and phosphors helped smooth out rough edges. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "PlayStation Classic review: A far-from-classic experience," 27 Nov. 2018 And if the season so far has failed to hang together, some indelible moments emerged from the blur of 10 shows a day in three cities. New York Times, "Staying in the (Fashion) Moment," 27 June 2018 The first months of freedom were a blur — 10 days in Damascus, then to Lebanon, Turkey, and across the Mediterranean on a smuggler’s boat — but the vision of his friend remained clear. Greg Betza, Washington Post, "Syria, a love story," 1 May 2018 Or Reina Guevara and her family won’t be the only ones whose future is a blur. Yvonne Abraham,, "President Trump, our racist-in-chief," 13 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

At a certain point, all the bad Facebook headlines start to blur together. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "What’s wrong with Facebook and how to fix it," 27 Dec. 2018 Protocols established by our respondents to manage pictures of people caught on camera included blurring images, or not publicly sharing them. Rogelio Luque-lora, Bill Adams, Ars Technica, "Camera traps designed for animals are now invading human privacy," 24 Nov. 2018 While Shanahan blurs a defense’s picture before the snap, McVay is more inclined to blur it immediately after. Andy Benoit,, "Sean McVay vs. Kyle Shanahan: The NFL’s Best New Coaching Rivalry," 18 June 2018 And in reaching out to the White House, Schulze was taking advantage of an unusual opening in an administration where matters of policy and business often seem to blur. Mark Mazzetti,, "Financier worked to open a channel between Kushner and North Korea," 17 June 2018 In an era of fortified fencing, one new proposal aims to blur the international border between San Diego and Tijuana. Sandra Dibble,, "Study sees two countries, one neighborhood at the U.S.-Mexico border," 11 June 2018 Calderon often messes with the heads of his audiences, blurring lines of theater and reality. Christopher Arnott,, "Calderon's 'Kiss' Full Of Seismic Psychological Surprises At Yale Rep," 4 May 2018 For the cheeks, there are two Pretty Youth Glow Filter duos that include a blurring cream blush and a highlighter. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "Charlotte Tilbury’s Newest Products Are Here," 12 Apr. 2018 The blurring lines between agency and studio is the result of a unique confluence of industry trends. David Ng,, "Talent agencies are reshaping their roles in Hollywood. Not everyone is happy about that," 6 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blur.' 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 blur


1519, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1520, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for blur

Noun and Verb

perhaps akin to Middle English bleren to blear

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Statistics for blur

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for blur

The first known use of blur was in 1519

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More Definitions for blur



English Language Learners Definition of blur

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something that you cannot see clearly

: something that is difficult to remember



English Language Learners Definition of blur (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (something) unclear or difficult to see or remember

: to become unclear or difficult to see or remember


\ ˈblər \

Kids Definition of blur

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something that cannot be seen clearly The ball was moving so fast, all I saw was a blur.
2 : something that is difficult to remember By now, my summer vacation is a blur.


blurred; blurring

Kids Definition of blur (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to make unclear or hard to see or remember Adjusting the lenses just blurred the image further.
2 : to make or become unclear or confused Time only blurred his memory of the incident.

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More from Merriam-Webster on blur

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with blur

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for blur

Spanish Central: Translation of blur

Nglish: Translation of blur for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of blur for Arabic Speakers

Comments on blur

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


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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