bolt from the blue

noun phrase

variants or less commonly bolt out of the blue
: a complete surprise : something totally unexpected

Examples of bolt from the blue in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Many of Israel’s greatest military triumphs have indeed come from audacious tactics such as the aerial bolt from the blue in 1967 and Sharon’s dash across the canal six years later. Shashank Joshi, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024

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

Word History

First Known Use

1856, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bolt from the blue was in 1856

Dictionary Entries Near bolt from the blue

Cite this Entry

“Bolt from the blue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bolt%20from%20the%20blue. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

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