the highest award or distinction, as the first prize in a contest:
His entry at the state fair won a blue ribbon.
a blue ribbon worn as a badge of honor, especially by members of the Order of the Garter of the British knighthood.
(initial capital letters). Also, British, Blue Ribband. (formerly) a prize awarded to an ocean liner making the fastest recorded trip across the Atlantic Ocean between Ambrose Lightship and Bishop Rock.
a badge used by some temperance organizations to indicate a pledge of abstinence from alcohol.
of superior quality or prominence; first-rate; specially selected:
a blue-ribbon committee of fund-raisers.
Contemporary Examples

Obama’s Panel on Domestic Spying Abuses Didn’t Pull Its Punches Daniel Klaidman December 19, 2013
With the Fiscal Cliff Looming, It’s Time to Take Politics Off the Table Mark McKinnon, William A. Galston December 3, 2012
We Need Plans, Not Prayers Mark McKinnon June 15, 2010

Historical Examples

The Price Francis Lynde
T. Tembarom Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Lieutenant-Governor Guy Wetmore Carryl
The Fifth Wheel Olive Higgins Prouty
The Vultures Henry Seton Merriman
The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
Marjorie Dean College Freshman Pauline Lester

(in Britain) a badge of blue silk worn by members of the Order of the Garter
a badge awarded as the first prize in a competition
(US) a badge worn by a member of a temperance society


Read Also:

  • Blue-riband

    noun (sometimes capitals) Also called (esp US) blue ribbon. the record for the fastest sea journey between two places, esp (in the 1920s and 30s) for a passenger liner between New York and Southampton the most distinguished achievement in any field (as modifier): the blue-riband event of the meeting Historical Examples Ernest Maltravers, Complete Edward […]

  • Blue-ribbon-jury

    a jury composed of persons having more than ordinary education and presumably exceptional intelligence and perceptiveness, selected by the court on the motion of plaintiff or defendant to try cases of unusual complexity or importance. noun a US name for a special jury

  • Blue-rider-school

    Blaue Reiter. a group of artists active in Germany, especially in or near Munich, during the early 20th century, whose works were characterized by the use of Fauve color and forms distorted for structural or emotive purposes. noun der a group of German expressionist painters formed in Munich in 1911, including Kandinsky and Klee, who […]

  • Blue-ridge

    a mountain range extending SW from N Virginia to N Georgia: part of the Appalachian Mountains.

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