the pure color of a clear sky; the primary color between green and violet in the visible spectrum, an effect of light with a wavelength between 450 and 500 nm.
something having a blue color:
Place the blue next to the red.
a person who wears blue or is a member of a group characterized by some blue symbol:
Tomorrow the blues will play the browns.
(often initial capital letter) a member of the Union army in the American Civil War or the army itself.
Compare gray1 (def 13).
blue ribbon (def 1).
any of several blue-winged butterflies of the family Lycaenidae.
the remote distance:
They’ve vanished into the blue somewhere.
of the color of blue:
a blue tie.
(initial capital letter) of or relating to the Union army in the American Civil War.
(of the skin) discolored by cold, contusion, fear, or vascular collapse.
depressed in spirits; dejected; melancholy:
She felt blue about not being chosen for the team.
holding or offering little hope; dismal; bleak:
a blue outlook.
characterized by or stemming from rigid morals or religion:
statutes that were blue and unrealistic.
marked by blasphemy:
The air was blue with oaths.
(of an animal’s pelage) grayish-blue.
indecent; somewhat obscene; risqué:
a blue joke or film.
to make blue; dye a blue color.
to tinge with bluing:
Don’t blue your clothes till the second rinse.
to become or turn blue.
blue in the face, exhausted and speechless, as from excessive anger, physical strain, etc.:
I reminded him about it till I was blue in the face.
out of the blue, suddenly and unexpectedly:
The inheritance came out of the blue as a stroke of good fortune.
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any of a group of colours, such as that of a clear unclouded sky, that have wavelengths in the range 490–445 nanometres. Blue is the complementary colour of yellow and with red and green forms a set of primary colours related adjective cyanic
a dye or pigment of any of these colours
blue cloth or clothing: dressed in blue
a sportsperson who represents or has represented Oxford or Cambridge University and has the right to wear the university colour (dark blue for Oxford, light blue for Cambridge): an Oxford blue
the honour of so representing one’s university
(Brit) an informal name for Tory
any of numerous small blue-winged butterflies of the genera Lampides, Polyommatus, etc: family Lycaenidae
(archaic) short for bluestocking
(slang) a policeman
(archery) a blue ring on a target, between the red and the black, scoring five points
a blue ball in snooker, etc
another name for blueing
(Austral & NZ, slang) an argument or fight: he had a blue with a taxi driver
(Austral & NZ, slang) Also bluey. a court summons, esp for a traffic offence
(Austral & NZ, informal) a mistake; error
out of the blue, apparently from nowhere; unexpectedly: the opportunity came out of the blue
into the blue, into the unknown or the far distance
adjective bluer, bluest
of the colour blue
(of the flesh) having a purple tinge, as from cold or contusion
depressed, moody, or unhappy
dismal or depressing: a blue day
indecent, titillating, or pornographic: blue films
bluish in colour or having parts or marks that are bluish: a blue fox, a blue whale
(rare) aristocratic; noble; patrician: a blue family See blue blood
(US) relating to, supporting, or representing the Democratic Party Compare red1 (sense 18)
verb blues, blueing, bluing, blued
to make, dye, or become blue
(transitive) to treat (laundry) with blueing
(transitive) (slang) to spend extravagantly or wastefully; squander
(Austral, informal) a nickname for a person with red hair
The exact color to which the Gmc. term applies varies in the older dialects; M.H.G. bla is also ‘yellow,’ whereas the Scandinavian words may refer esp. to a deep, swarthy black, e.g. O.N. blamaðr, N.Icel. blamaður ‘Negro’ [Buck]
Few words enter more largely into the composition of slang, and colloquialisms bordering on slang, than does the word BLUE. Expressive alike of the utmost contempt, as of all that men hold dearest and love best, its manifold combinations, in ever varying shades of meaning, greet the philologist at every turn. [John S. Farmer, “Slang and Its Analogues Past and Present,” 1890, p.252]
The color of constancy since Chaucer at least, but apparently for no deeper reason than the rhyme in true blue (c.1500). From early times blue was the distinctive color of the dress of servants, which may be the reason police uniforms are blue, a tradition Farmer dates to Elizabethan times. For blue ribbon see cordon bleu under cordon. Blue whale attested from 1851, so called for its color. The flower name blue bell is recorded by 1570s. Blue streak, of something resembling a blt of lightning (for quickness, intensity, etc.) is from 1830, U.S. Western slang.
Many Indo-European languages seem to have had a word to describe the color of the sea, encompasing blue and green and gray; e.g. Irish glass (see Chloe); Old English hæwen “blue, gray,” related to har (see hoar); Serbo-Croatian sinji “gray-blue, sea-green;” Lithuanian šyvas, Russian sivyj “gray.”
Drunk: When you were blue you got the howling horrors (1800s+)
Lewd; rude; suggestive; dirty •The term covers the range from obscene to slightly risque´: Blue humor has long been a staple of black audiences (1840+)
Melancholy; depressed; woeful: I feel a little blue and blah this morning (1500s+)
A very dark-skinned black person (1920s+)
A police officer: By the time the first blues got there, there’s like maybe ten people milling about (1860s+)
An IBM2 computer (1980+ Computer)
A blue drug or pill, esp an amphetamine or Valium2
blue funk, in a
blue in the face
the blues, (used with a plural verb) depressed spirits; despondency; melancholy: This rainy spell is giving me the blues. (used with a singular verb) Jazz. a song, originating with American blacks, that is marked by the frequent occurrence of blue notes, and that takes the basic form, customarily improvised upon in performance, of a 12-bar […]
a musician who sings or plays blues.
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