1 of 2


: a smear or stain that obscures
: 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


2 of 2


blurred; blurring

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to make blurs
… the moths tapped and blurred at the window screen …R. P. Warren
: 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
: to become vague or indistinct
distinctions between the two are beginning to blur
blurringly adverb

Examples of blur in a Sentence

Verb 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.
Recent Examples on the Web
The days following the disaster were a blur, Val said. Anumita Kaur, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Sep. 2023 Microsoft is overhauling its Snipping Tool and Photos app with useful features for copying text from screenshots and adding background blur to photos. Tom Warren, The Verge, 14 Sep. 2023 Then up comes his racquet head from the middle of his back in a blur and . . . Gerald Marzorati, The New Yorker, 30 Aug. 2023 But Saul has dementia, and while his recall of the distant past tends to be better than that of recent events, high school is pretty much a blur. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Sep. 2023 This incident, which keeps erupting into Mahito’s consciousness afterward, is rendered like a panic attack, the boy in his light-gray uniform pushing through a crowd of city residents who are a dark blur of anguished forms. Alison Willmore, Vulture, 8 Sep. 2023 Every parent knows that the past and the future are a blur. John Kelly, Washington Post, 3 Sep. 2023 Over the next seven years, Michele and her son carried Anita through her changing world, a blur of increasingly unfamiliar places and people., 28 Aug. 2023 Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows’s shot is a watery blur. Karen Heller, Washington Post, 25 Aug. 2023
However, the lines of their relationship have at times been blurred between professional and personal. Ryan Hogg, Fortune, 27 Sep. 2023 The settings may be disparate, but the film constantly slips between them, blurring the three into one gloomy jungle. J. Kim Murphy, Variety, 22 Sep. 2023 Although people in many Indigenous cultures have long believed that animals can intentionally communicate, Western scientists traditionally have shied away from research that blurs the lines between humans and other animals for fear of being accused of anthropomorphism. Lois Parshley, Scientific American, 19 Sep. 2023 To keep things looking seamless, Victoria recommends blurring the lines into skin using just your fingers, taking care to blend well to connect the lines to the inner corners of the brows. Georgia Day, Vogue, 19 Sep. 2023 Sometimes, though, the border between this world and the other one seems to blur. Kamran Javadizadeh, The New Yorker, 11 Sep. 2023 Originally debuted at Kim’s MFA thesis exhibition at UCSD, the installation blurs the lines of sculptural, sound and performance art. Seth Combs, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Sep. 2023 The line between Sofi and the playwright blurs, especially because the character has been styled to look a lot like Baker—wavy-haired, wearing socks with sandals. Helen Shaw, The New Yorker, 13 Sep. 2023 Cline said an organized political campaign has been working to discredit PragerU and New Hampshire’s Learn Everywhere program by blurring the line between PragerU’s financial literacy course content and the other material in its library. Steven Porter,, 11 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Noun and Verb

perhaps akin to Middle English bleren to blear

First Known Use


1519, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1520, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of blur was in 1519

Dictionary Entries Near blur

Cite this Entry

“Blur.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a smear or stain that dims but does not completely cover
: something vague or lacking definite outline


2 of 2 verb
blurred; blurring
: to make hard to see or read by smearing
: to make or become vague or unclear

More from Merriam-Webster on blur

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