Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A light purplish-blue.
  • n. Heraldry The color blue.
  • n. The blue sky.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A blue colour on a coat of arms, represented in engraving by horizontal parallel lines.
  • n. The clear blue colour of the sky; also, a pigment or dye of this colour.
  • n. The unclouded sky; the blue vault above.
  • n. Lapis lazuli.
  • adj. Sky-blue; resembling the clear blue colour of the unclouded sky; cerulean; also, cloudless.
  • adj. In blazon, of the colour blue.
  • v. To colour blue.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Sky-blue; resembling the clear blue color of the unclouded sky; cerulean; also, cloudless.
  • n. The lapis lazuli.
  • n. The clear blue color of the sky; also, a pigment or dye of this color.
  • n. The blue vault above; the unclouded sky.
  • n. A blue color, represented in engraving by horizontal parallel lines.
  • transitive v. To color blue.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Lapis lazuli.
  • n. The fine blue color of the sky: as, “her eyes a bashful azure,”
  • n. A name formerly applied to several sky-colored or blue pigments, but now used for cobalt blue (which see, under blue).
  • n. The sky, or blue vault of heaven.
  • n. In heraldry, the tincture blue, which in uncolored drawings or engravings is represented by shading in horizontal lines. Often abbreviated to az.
  • Resembling the clear blue color of the sky; sky-blue.
  • To color blue.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a light shade of blue
  • adj. of a deep somewhat purplish blue color similar to that of a clear October sky
  • v. color azure

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French azur, from Medieval Latin azura, from Arabic al-lāzaward, the azure : al-, the + lāzaward, azure (from Persian lājward, lapis lazuli).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French azur, derived from Arabic لازوَرْد (lāzaward, "lapis lazuli"), dropping the l as if it were equivalent to the French article l'. The Arabic is from Persian لاجورد (lajward, "azure"), from the region of Lajward in Turkestan. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • This was particularly hard to do since, just before we went on the air, ABC had shown a series of exchanges between police and demonstrators which made it quite clear that the boys in azure blue were on a great lark. beating up everyone in sight.

    r_urell: William F. Buckley: Father of Modern "Conservatism"

  • So he stood waist-deep in the grass and looked regretfully across the rolling savannah and the soft-swelling foothills to the Lion's Head, a massive peak of rock that upreared into the azure from the midmost centre of Guadalcanar, a landmark used for bearings by every coasting mariner, a mountain as yet untrod by the foot of a white man.

    Chapter 23

  • It is the Accidentally On-Purpose Drop-Stitch Vest from the book Stitch 'n Bitch Nation, in azure, a cheerful and summery shade of blue.

    Archive 2008-06-01

  • The impression of an unending azure is broken only by the appearance of five yellow flowers: one painted on each hand, one on her forehead, one on her upper chest and one on her stomach.

    The Art Of Peace

  • To use Browning's words, Scott "fished the murex up," so that Carlyle outdid Macaulay in "azure feats."

    History and Literature

  • So he stood waist-deep in the grass and looked regretfully across the rolling savannah and the soft-swelling foothills to the Lion's Head, a massive peak of rock that upreared into the azure from the midmost centre of

    A Message From the Bush

  • To have to care for my dress at this time of day more than I ever did when young and pretty and happy (God bless me, to think that I was once all that!) on penalty of being regarded as a blot on the Grange gold and azure, is really too bad.

    Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle

  • Next is the obligatory blue space which I guess I would describe as azure a place called Danube would have.

    Danube, 623 ceruleanillian stars

  • A soft wind blew the bright tendrils of her hair across her cheeks; her skin was like a little girl's, rose and snow, smooth as a child's; her eyes clearly, darkly blue -- the hue and tint called azure -- like the colour of the zenith on some still June day.

    Athalie

  • The blue appears firm as if solid above the angle of the stonework, for while looking towards it -- towards the north -- the rays do not come through the azure, which is therefore colour without life.

    The Life of the Fields

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  • February 22, 2010

  • HA!

    February 22, 2010

  • Wish I could add sionnach's lit crit to his own darn list.

    February 22, 2010

  • Azure pupils, eh? Now there's something you don't see every day. Marcel needed to get out more, instead of slurping down interminable infusions in that bloody cork-lined room, reminiscing about maman tucking him in every night, the snivelling little toad.

    February 22, 2010

  • "After walking across the garden of the Arena in the glare of the sun, I entered the Giotto chapel, the entire ceiling of which and the background of the frescoes are so blue that it seems as though the radiant daylight has crossed the threshold with the human visitor in order to give its pure sky a momentary breather in the coolness and shade, a sky merely of a slightly deeper blue now that it is rid of the glitter of the sunlight, as in those brief moments when, though no cloud is to be seen, the sun has turned its gaze elsewhere and the azure, softer still, grows deeper."
    --The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 878 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    February 22, 2010

  • "And during the few minutes that the Prince was standing beside their table, M. de Norpois never ceased for an instant to keep his azure pupils trained on Mme de Villeparisis, with the mixture of indulgence and severity of an old lover, but principally from fear of her committing one of those verbal solecisms which he had relished but which he dreaded."
    --The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 858 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    February 22, 2010

  • "But much later, when I went back gradually, in reverse order, over the times through which I had passed before I had come to love Albertine so much, when my healed heart could detach itself without suffering from Albertine dead, then I was able to recall at length without suffering that day on which Albertine had gone shopping with Françoise instead of remaining at the Trocadéro; I recalled it with pleasure as belonging to an emotional season which I had not known until then; I recalled it at last exactly, no longer injecting it with suffering, but rather, on the contrary, as we recall certain days in summer which we found too hot while they lasted, and from which only after they have passed do we extract their unalloyed essence of pure gold and indestructible azure."
    -- The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 656 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    February 15, 2010

  • "Likewise, too, no more than the seasons to its flowerless creeks, do modern times bring any change to the Gothic city; I knew it, even if I could not imagine it, or rather, imagining it, this was what I longed for with the same desire which long ago, when I was a boy, in the very ardour of departure, had broken and robbed me of the strength to make the journey: to find myself face to face with my Venetian imaginings, to observe how that divided sea enclosed in its meanderings, like the sinuosities of the ocean stream, an urbane and refined civilisation, but one that, isolated by their azure girdle, had evolved independently, had had its own schools of painting and architecture, to admire that fabulous garden of fruits and birds in coloured stone, flowering in the midst of the sea which kept it refreshed, lapped the base of the columns with its tide, and, like a sombre azure gaze watching in the shadows, kept patches of light perpetually flickering on the bold relief of the capitals."
    -- The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 556 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    February 11, 2010

  • Thet's purty, azure as ah'm settin' hayr.

    February 11, 2010

  • "I kissed her then a second time, pressing to my heart the shimmering golden azure of the Grand Canal and the mating birds, symbols of death and resurrection."
    --The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 538 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    February 11, 2010

  • "The Fortuny gown which Albertine was wearing that evening seemed to me the tempting phantom of that invisible Venice. It was overrun by Arab ornamentation, like Venice, like the Venetian palaces hidden like sultan's wives behind a screen of perforated stone, like the bindings in the Ambrosian Library, like the columns from which the oriental birds that symbolised alternatively life and death were repeated in the shimmering fabric, of an intense blue which, as my eyes drew nearer, turned into a malleable gold by those same transmutations which, before an advancing gondola, change into gleaming metal the azure of the Grand Canal. And the sleeves were lined with a cherry pink which is so peculiarly Venetian that it is called Tiepolo pink."
    --The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 531 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    February 11, 2010

  • It's interesting to note that in Spanish "azul" means simple blue and that in Italian "azzurro" is the preferred word for the color as opposed to "blu" which is used to describe darker blue or navy blue.

    In English azure is often taken to mean "sky blue" or "light blue" (i.e. the light blue color of the sky). "Azure sky" is a common word pairing, but the word was probably originally applied to the more intense, lapis lazuli color of the sky as seen in Mediterranean countries.

    June 11, 2009

  • Azure is a nice simple word - makes me think of the sky, no where nears as pretentious a color as incarnadine.

    February 20, 2009

  • "Tossing her head like a royal palfrey embarrassed by its halter of pearls, of an incalculable value but an inconvenient weight, she let fall here and there a soft and charming gaze, of an azure which, as it gradually began to fade, became more caressing still, and greeted most of the departing guests with a friendly nod."
    --Sodom and Gomorrah by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, p 163 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    February 6, 2009

  • That's so creepy. This is the only X-files episode I have ever watched, many years ago, and I was thinking about this... yesterday.

    December 31, 2008

  • I liked it because of that episode of X-Files, where the guy who could take over your mind by talking to you tried to convince mulder he was about to be run over by a semi-truck that was azure colored

    December 31, 2008

  • So you're not a big fan of the actress Azura Skye, then?

    October 7, 2008

  • ...Not seeing what's so bad about it.

    October 7, 2008

  • I think Milton is chiefly responsible for the popularity among poetasters of this rephrensible word.

    December 1, 2007

  • What do you think of Milton? ('...uneasy steps/Over the burning marle, not like those steps/On Heaven’s azure...')

    November 30, 2007

  • I don't really like cerulean, but for some reason it doesn't make my piss boil like 'azure'.

    November 30, 2007

  • How do you feel about cerulean, yarb?

    November 30, 2007

  • One of the most pretentious words ever - an adjective which communicates more about its deployer than its subject. A deplorable word which must be eschewed by all writers (for have you ever heard it used in conversation?) of imagination and / or panache.

    November 30, 2007