\ ˈblər How to pronounce blur (audio) \

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 How to pronounce blurringly (audio) \ 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

Lawrence's all-around ability makes him a blur in the octagon, thus the fitting Tornado moniker. Robert Rimpson, The Courier-Journal, "MMA fighter Lance 'The Tornado' Lawrence is one fight away from his UFC dream," 12 July 2019 Purple asters, face-size Queen Anne’s lace, pink morning glories, blurs of yellow, bursts of blooming cacti, and tumbles of vulgar magenta bougainvillea. Frances Mayes, National Geographic, "Discover Italy’s most delicious secret," 11 July 2019 Giraffes run hither and thither on spotty, spindly legs; zebra herds dash by, a stripey blur. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Review: Disney's New The Lion King Is Beautiful But Soulless," 11 July 2019 For Brooks, the last week has been a blur that has included watching a Colorado Rockies baseball game, reconnecting with family in Prince George’s and having his younger brother teach him how to use an iPhone. Rachel Chason, Washington Post, "At 15, he was part of a robbery that ended in murder. On Monday, Maryland welcomed him home.," 8 July 2019 Seeing a famous poster evokes a different sensation, that of a compressed blur of times and places. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "How Posters Became Art," 1 July 2019 The actual weekend remains an understandable blur to those at its centerstage. Peter Mikelbank,, "A 66-Foot Veil and an Eagles Concert! Revisit Prince Albert, Princess Charlene’s 2011 Royal Wedding," 1 July 2019 The rest of the weekend was a blur trying to get the entire draft class booked on flights to the Twin Cities. Dane Mizutani, Twin Cities, "From NHL draft to development camp, Brad Bombardir and Wild go from ‘0 to 100’ in days," 28 June 2019 The duo’s architecture continues to blur juxtapositions between what is natural and what is artificial by using new and everyday materials in unusual ways. Mimi Zeiger,, "La Brea Tar Pits’ trippy new pavilion from Spain’s Selgascano could be L.A.’s next selfie magnet," 27 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Photo: Reuters Yet Verizon’s critics say it, too, has blurred the line, by focusing its early 5G service on home broadband instead of cellphone improvements. Drew Fitzgerald, WSJ, "Beware the 5G Hype: Wireless Rivals Fuel Confusion," 9 Jan. 2019 What’s more, blurring the line between what’s real and what’s created is part of the design of the film. Keith Phipps, The Verge, "Netflix’s Orson Welles revival is strange, fascinating, and frustrating," 1 Nov. 2018 Emmons mixes classic haute couture imagery with startlingly modern elements, blurring the line between ad and art. Andrea Alonso, Los Angeles Magazine, "Meet One of L.A.’s Most Daring Fashion Photographers," 1 Mar. 2018 Armour, who fired an 8-under-par 64 on Thursday at Detroit Golf Club, blamed his Big Ten bias for blurring one of college sports' clear battle lines. Greg Levinsky, Detroit Free Press, "This PGA Tour golfer went to Ohio State. He rooted for Michigan in CWS," 27 June 2019 Kael articulated a provocative new vision of American cinema in which the most invigorating films blurred the boundaries of high and low culture. The New Yorker, "Sunday Reading: The Electrifying Critical Mind of Pauline Kael," 16 June 2019 Alison and her husband, Pete, think the line of authority begins to blur a bit as kids become teens and inch closer to legal adulthood. Caitlin Gibson, Twin Cities, "Gen Z kids are the stars of their parents’ social media — and they have opinions about that," 5 June 2019 Alison and her husband, Pete, think the line of authority begins to blur a bit as kids become teens and inch closer to legal adulthood. Caitlin Gibson, Anchorage Daily News, "Gen Z kids are the stars of their parents’ social media - and they have opinions about that," 4 June 2019 Spend enough time with an avatar that looks like us, and the lines between our real and virtual identities begin to blur. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Augmented reality changes how people interact and communicate, study finds," 29 May 2019

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

15 Jul 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 How to pronounce blur (audio) \

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

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