\ 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 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 Some Twitter users have even attached close-ups of the area in question that do, indeed, appear to show a little bit of blur. Emily Wang, Allure, "People Think Kim Kardashian West Photoshopped This Photo from 19 Years Ago," 3 May 2018 Photo: Médecins Sans Frontières Six months in the unsanitary refugee shanties were a blur of visits to the doctor, slumped on his father’s back like a sack of rice, Mr. Ahmed recalled. Niharika Mandhana, WSJ, "‘All Our Lives They Wanted to Ruin Us.’ For Decades, Myanmar Sought to Drive Out Rohingya," 23 Nov. 2018 There appears to be some heat blur behind the engine, radiating upward, to indicate that the aircraft’s turbofan engine is active. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This Is Russia’s First Autonomous Strike Drone," 25 Jan. 2019 Response times are nearly instantaneous, and motion interpolation is great, which means the vast majority of content looks smooth and largely free of blur when things are moving onscreen. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "The Ars Holiday Gift Guide 2018—good tech for the power user in your life," 4 Dec. 2018 Baby's First Restaurant in Matunuck Knowing the first few weeks of our son's life would be a blur of feedings and Target runs, my husband split his paternity leave in two, reserving the second half for a family getaway. Jordi Lippe-mcgraw, Condé Nast Traveler, "Maternity Moons Are Now a Thing," 28 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 According to research from the National Association of Realtors, while 19 percent of home purchases were purely investment-based, more and more owners are blurring the lines. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "How vacation homes went from private escape to investment opportunities," 2 Oct. 2018 Burberry, which built a $3.8-billion-a-year business selling a muted output of cashmere scarves and trench coats, will now be helmed by an Italian designer whose intricate lace-and-sequin gowns often blur the line between red carpet and lingerie. Robert Williams,, "Burberry Turns to a Designer Who Befriended the Kardashians," 1 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

20 May 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

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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