American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The hue of that portion of the visible spectrum lying between green and indigo, evoked in the human observer by radiant energy with wavelengths of approximately 420 to 490 nanometers; any of a group of colors that may vary in lightness and saturation, whose hue is that of a clear daytime sky; one of the additive or light primaries; one of the psychological primary hues.
- n. A pigment or dye imparting this hue.
- n. Bluing.
- n. An object having this hue.
- n. Dress or clothing of this hue: The ushers wore blue.
- n. A person who wears a blue uniform.
- n. A dress blue uniform, especially that of the U.S. Army.
- n. A member of the Union Army in the Civil War.
- n. The Union Army.
- n. A bluefish.
- n. A small blue butterfly of the family Lycaenidae.
- n. The sky.
- n. The sea.
- adj. Of the color blue.
- adj. Bluish or having parts that are blue or bluish, as the blue spruce and the blue whale.
- adj. Having a gray or purplish color, as from cold or contusion.
- adj. Wearing blue.
- adj. Gloomy; depressed. See Synonyms at depressed.
- adj. Dismal; dreary: a blue day.
- adj. Puritanical; strict.
- adj. Aristocratic; patrician.
- adj. Indecent; risqué: a blue joke; a blue movie.
- v. To make or become blue.
- idiom. blue in the face At the point of extreme exasperation: I argued with them until I was blue in the face.
- idiom. into the blue At a far distance; into the unknown: spontaneously take a trip into the blue.
- idiom. out of the blue From an unexpected or unforeseen source: criticism that came out of the blue.
- idiom. out of the blue At a completely unexpected time: a long-unseen friend who appeared out of the blue.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Of the color of the clear sky; of the color of the spectrum between wave-lengths .505 and .415 micron, and more especially .487 to .460, or of such light mixed with white; azure; cerulean.
- Livid; lead-colored: said of the skin or complexion as affected by cold, contusion, or fear (see blae): hence the phrase black and blue. See black.
- Figuratively, afflicted with low spirits; despondent; depressed; hypochondriacal; having the blues.
- Dismal; unpromising: applied to things: as, a blue lookout.
- Inflexible; rigid; strict in morals or religion; puritanic: as, a blue Presbyterian: often in the form true blue (which see, below).
- [With ref. to blue-stocking, q. v.] Learned; pedantic: applied to women.
- Indecent; obscene: as, blue stories.
- In Australia, the volcanic (basaltic) material in places overlying the Tertiary auriferous gravels.
- The bluish-colored matrix in which the South African diamonds are often found embedded. It is a kind of breccia.
- n. The color of the clear sky or of natural ultramarine, or a shade or a tint resembling it; azure. See I., 1.
- n. A dye or pigment of this hue. The substances used as blue pigments are of very different natures, and derived from various sources; they are all compound bodies, some being natural and others artificial. See phrases below.
- n. Bluing.
- n. The sky; the atmosphere.
- n. The sea; the deep sea.
- n. A member of a party, or of any company of persons, which has adopted blue as its distinctive color.
- n. The heavy winter coat of the deer. See phrase in the blue, below.
- n. A butterfly of the family Lycœnidœ, found in Great Britain and other parts of Europe.
- n. [Short for bluestocking.] A pedantic woman.
- n. Soluble blue.
- n. Any blue that is free from violet, and retains a true blue color in artificial light.
- n. A somewhat light shade of Prussian blue.
- n. Prussian blue in a pasty state.
- n. A Prussian blue to which has been added an excess of prussiate of potash. Also called ball-blue, navy blue.
- n. [capitalized] The name popularly given to the English regiment properly called the Royal Horse Guards, or Oxford Blues, first mustered in 1661, and so called from their blue uniforms.
- To make blue; dye a blue color; color with bluing; make blue by heating, as metals, etc.
- To blush.
- n. In archery: The third circle of the target, which is now usually colored blue. See target.
- n. An arrow which hits this circle; a hit in the blue. By the present method of scoring, such a hit counts 5.
- n. A name sometimes given to water-soluble induline.
- n. Same as bleu-de-roi (which see).
- n. A mixture of methylene-blue and methyl-violet.
- adj. Having a bluish colour shade.
- adj. informal Depressed, melancholic, sad.
- adj. entertainment, informal Pornographic or profane.
- adj. US, politics Supportive of, run by, pertaining to, or dominated by a political party represented by the colour blue. (e.g. The Conservatives, the Democrats)
- adj. astronomy Of the higher-frequency region of the part of the electromagnetic spectrum which is relevant in the specific observation.
- adj. Extra rare; left very raw and cold.
- adj. of a dog Possessing a coat of fur that is a shade of gray
- n. The colour of the clear sky or the deep sea, between green and violet in the visible spectrum, and one of the primary additive colours for transmitted light; the colour obtained by subtracting red and green from white light using magenta and cyan filters; or any colour resembling this.
- n. A blue dye or pigment.
- n. Any of several processes to protect metal against rust.
- n. Blue clothing
- n. plural A blue uniform. See blues.
- n. The sky, literally or figuratively.
- n. The ocean; deep waters.
- n. Anything blue, especially to distinguish it from similar objects differing only in color.
- n. snooker One of the colour balls used in snooker with a value of 5 points.
- n. Any of the blue-winged butterflies of the subfamily Polyommatinae in the family Lycaenidae.
- n. A bluefish.
- n. Australia, colloquial An argument.
- n. A liquid with an intense blue colour, added to a laundry wash to prevent yellowing of white clothes.
- n. UK a type of firecracker
- v. ergative To make or become blue.
- v. transitive (metallurgy) To treat the surface of steel so that it is passivated chemically and becomes more resistant to rust.
- v. transitive, slang To spend (money) extravagantly; to blow.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Having the color of the clear sky, or a hue resembling it, whether lighter or darker.
- adj. Pale, without redness or glare, -- said of a flame; hence, of the color of burning brimstone, betokening the presence of ghosts or devils.
- adj. Low in spirits; melancholy.
- adj. colloq. Suited to produce low spirits; gloomy in prospect.
- adj. Severe or over strict in morals; gloom; ; suiting one who is over strict in morals; inculcating an impracticable, severe, or gloomy mortality.
- adj. colloq. Literary; -- applied to women; -- an abbreviation of
- n. poetically, poetically One of the seven colors into which the rays of light divide themselves, when refracted through a glass prism; the color of the clear sky, or a color resembling that, whether lighter or darker; a pigment having such color. the sky.
- n. colloq. A pedantic woman; a bluestocking.
- n. colloq. Low spirits; a fit of despondency; melancholy.
- v. To make blue; to dye of a blue color; to make blue by heating, as metals, etc.
- n. blue clothing
- n. the sky as viewed during daylight
- v. turn blue
- adj. used to signify the Union forces in the American Civil War (who wore blue uniforms)
- n. any of numerous small butterflies of the family Lycaenidae
- adj. of the color intermediate between green and violet; having a color similar to that of a clear unclouded sky
- n. blue color or pigment; resembling the color of the clear sky in the daytime
- n. the sodium salt of amobarbital that is used as a barbiturate; used as a sedative and a hypnotic
- adj. morally rigorous and strict
- adj. suggestive of sexual impropriety
- adj. causing dejection
- adj. characterized by profanity or cursing
- adj. belonging to or characteristic of the nobility or aristocracy
- n. used to whiten laundry or hair or give it a bluish tinge
- n. any organization or party whose uniforms or badges are blue
- adj. filled with melancholy and despondency
- From Middle English blewe, partially from Old English *blǣw ("blue"; found in derivative blǣwen ("bluish")); and partially from Anglo-Norman blew, blef ("blue"), from Medieval Latin blāvus, blāvius ("blue"), from Old Frankish *blāw, *blāo (“blue”); both from Proto-Germanic *blēwaz (“blue, dark blue”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰlēw- (“yellow, blond, grey”). Cognate with English dialectal blow ("blue"), Scots blue, blew ("blue"), North Frisian bla, blö ("blue"), Saterland Frisian blau ("blue"), Dutch blauw ("blue"), German blau ("blue"), Swedish blå ("blue"), Icelandic blár ("blue"), Latin flāvus ("yellow"), Middle Irish blá ("yellow"), Lithuanian blãvas ("blue"). Doublet of blae. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English blue, bleu, from Old French bleu, of Germanic origin. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Light blue is more specific than ˜blue™ which is more specific than ˜colored.™”
“The blue stains, the lines for corrections, etc., are erased with the the potassic oxalate (_blue salving, _ as it is termed) whose formula has been given.”
“It is scarcely more previous than the underlying limestones, and why a solution that could penetrate and leach ores from it should be stopped at the upper surface of the blue limestone is not obvious; nor why the plane of junction between the porphyry and the _blue limestone_ should be the special place of deposit of the ore.”
“Blua libro (_or_ libro blua), _a blue book_; bluaj libroj, _blue books_.”
“Now there is something exceedingly captivating in a pair of soft blue eyes -- not that there may not be something quite as captivating in a pair of brown or black or grey eyes -- but there is something singularly captivating in the peculiar style of captivation wherewith a man is captivated by a pair of blue -- distinctly _blue_ -- eyes.”
“Palestine -- one sort is particularized as _white_ with a dark blue spot and streak -- the water lily, lotos, which I think I meant, is _blue_ altogether.”
“Mr. Browning answered, "Lilies are of all colors in Palestine -- one sort is particularized as _white_ with a dark blue spot and streak -- the water lily, lotus, which I think I meant, is _blue_ altogether.”
“Whether the blue devils were flying around or not, I could not exactly discover, but the whiskey and _blue ruin_ were evidently powerful in their effects.”
Real Life In London, Volumes I. and II. Or, The Rambles And Adventures Of Bob Tallyho, Esq., And His Cousin, The Hon. Tom Dashall, Through The Metropolis; Exhibiting A Living Picture Of Fashionable Characters, Manners, And Amusements In High And Low Life (1821)
“Except her dress, which happened to be blue, there appeared to be nothing else _blue_ about her.”
“I saw a picture not long since, in Edinburgh, copied from an engraving in Boydell's Shakspeare; subject, -- "Lear (and suite) in the storm," but coloured according to the imagination and taste of the artist; its name ought assuredly to have been _Redcap and the blue-devils_, for the venerable and lamented monarch had fine streaming locks of the real _carrot hue_, whilst his very hideous companions showed _blue_ faces, and blue armour; and with their strangely contorted bodies seemed meet representatives of some of the infernal court.”
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