\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The words on the sheet bled together, tumbling into one chaotic blur. Longreads, "True Roots," 5 June 2019 The numbers offered by humanitarian agencies have become a blur. Cara Anna, The Seattle Times, "‘It’s not safe anywhere:’ Mozambique cyclone scattered lives," 30 Mar. 2019 As crack took control of her life, Messina's days and nights became a blur of getting high and desperately searching for the next fix. Bob Warren,, "'I love this man.' Recovering addict credits Covington chief, opens sober living house," 26 Feb. 2018 In the final act, particularly, so much is happening on-screen that the movie’s style seems to undercut the narrative, turning everything into a blur of shape, color, and movement. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is dazzling, hilarious, and unique," 14 Dec. 2018 Each request sends him hustling off in this direction or that, a blur of motion. Dugan Arnett,, "The last maître d’ is here to serve you from a bygone time," 6 July 2018 The action ratchets up considerably in the final 45 minutes, when the monsters that Krasinski has wisely framed in brief, allusive blurs of movement come into more frightening focus. Ann Hornaday, kansascity, "Inventive ‘A Quiet Place’ conjures up scares without screams | The Kansas City Star," 5 Apr. 2018 My tour of religious institutions was a blur of Protestant denominations that all had essentially the same message: God loved me and was with me all the time. Sara Eckel, Longreads, "The Hole in My Soul," 1 June 2018 During those years, nothing was permanent and friends were a blur. Marc Myers, WSJ, "Tony Hale Turned His Childhood Anxieties Into Comic Relief," 26 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Scorsese even places these characters amid the archival footage, dubbing the voice of Van Dorp into documentary sequences, blurring the historical record to match the fictional conceit. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“Rolling Thunder Revue,” Reviewed: Martin Scorsese’s Slippery Chronicle of Bob Dylan in Concert," 14 June 2019 With the Internet, all the boundaries are becoming blurred. Drew Harwell, Washington Post, "Top AI researchers race to detect “deepfake” videos: “We are outgunned”," 12 June 2019 In an age when so many visual artists are mixing mediums, biographers, too, are blurring boundaries. Deborah Solomon, New York Times, "Seeking the Real David Hockney Through Fact and Fiction," 11 June 2019 Since life in Vegas is never dull, the ladies also find the lines between performance and reality blurring as their residency wears on which leads to an identity crises or two both in and outside the ring. Ruth Kinane,, "Geena Davis set to guest star on season 3 of GLOW," 10 June 2019 This week, its first attempt at a Marchionne-style mega-merger with France’s Renault SA imploded in dramatic fashion, exposing the carmaker’s stalled fortunes in an industry beset by blurring changes. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "The Renault Deal Is Dead, But Fiat Chrysler Still Desperately Needs a Partner," 7 June 2019 Studied the shop windows, the reflections shown there not yet blurred by streaks of snow. Han Kang, Harper's magazine, "White Out," 10 Feb. 2019 Of course, these roles sometimes blur and team performance reflects the combined efforts of many individuals. Steve Rosenbush, WSJ, "What Your CEO Is Reading: Who Is the True Leader of the NFL Franchise?," 26 Apr. 2019 Occasionally people employ practical steps that help to blur the financial dissonance and to put everyone at ease. Henry Alford, Town & Country, "Rich You, Poor Me," 6 Aug. 2014

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about blur

Statistics for blur

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for blur

The first known use of blur was in 1519

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!