\ 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

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

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 Previously, the background blurring feature left the background in place, letting participants wonder at what that vague pile of stuff behind you might be. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft Teams taps AI to boost new background, whiteboarding features," 19 Mar. 2019 But blurring those boundaries ultimately makes the problems worse by undermining public trust in the institutions and their work. Megan Friedman, Marie Claire, "Read Former FBI Director James Comey's Full Remarks for His Senate Hearing Tomorrow," 7 June 2017 Behind Mom is a window, and that is where my face appears, blurred around the edges, and serene with love. Rachel Vorona Cote, SELF, "Why I Embraced Skin Care After My Mother's Death," 18 Apr. 2019 Trump posed with what seemed to be members of a Navy SEAL team for photographs and then posted it on Twitter without blurring out their faces or obscuring their identity — which violates accepted security protocol. Alexia Underwood, Vox, "Trump’s secret trip to Iraq didn’t quite go as planned," 27 Dec. 2018 Makeup artist Keita Moore shows us how it's done — using a matte powder, blurring out the edges, adding a similar color in the waterlines, and then grounding it all with a thick line of black along her top lashes and lots of mascara. Sophia Panych, Allure, "The Best Celebrity Beauty Looks of the Week," 3 Aug. 2018 Then the Vatican, which recently digitally blurred out embarrassing lines of a letter sent by Pope Benedict XI, removed the text from its website. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "Does Hell Exist? And Did the Pope Give an Answer?," 30 Mar. 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

17 Jun 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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