Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A sudden hard stroke or hit, as with the fist or an object.
  • noun An unexpected shock or calamity.
  • noun An unexpected attack; an assault.
  • intransitive & transitive verb To bloom or cause to bloom.
  • noun A mass of blossoms.
  • noun The state of blossoming.
  • intransitive verb To be in a state of motion. Used of the air or of wind.
  • intransitive verb To move along or be carried by the wind.
  • intransitive verb To move with or have strong winds.
  • intransitive verb To expel a current of air, as from the mouth or from a bellows.
  • intransitive verb To produce a sound by expelling a current of air, as in sounding a wind instrument or a whistle.
  • intransitive verb To breathe hard; pant.
  • intransitive verb To release air or gas suddenly; burst or explode.
  • intransitive verb To spout moist air from the blowhole. Used of a whale.
  • intransitive verb To fail or break down, as from being operated under extreme or improper conditions.
  • intransitive verb To melt or otherwise become disabled. Used of a fuse.
  • intransitive verb Informal To move very fast in relation to something.
  • intransitive verb Slang To go away; depart.
  • intransitive verb Informal To boast.
  • intransitive verb Vulgar Slang To be disgustingly disagreeable or offensive.
  • intransitive verb To cause to move by means of a current of air.
  • intransitive verb To drive a current of air on, in, or through.
  • intransitive verb To clear out or make free of obstruction by forcing air through.
  • intransitive verb To shape or form (glass, for example) by forcing air or gas through at the end of a pipe.
  • intransitive verb To expel (air) from the mouth.
  • intransitive verb To cause air or gas to be expelled suddenly from.
  • intransitive verb To cause (a wind instrument) to sound.
  • intransitive verb To sound.
  • intransitive verb To cause to be out of breath.
  • intransitive verb To allow (a winded horse) to regain its breath.
  • intransitive verb To demolish by the force of an explosion.
  • intransitive verb To lay or deposit eggs in. Used of certain insects.
  • intransitive verb To cause to fail or break down, as by operating at extreme or improper conditions.
  • intransitive verb To cause (a fuse) to melt or become disabled.
  • intransitive verb To spend (money) freely and rashly. synonym: waste.
  • intransitive verb To spend money freely on; treat.
  • intransitive verb Slang To spoil or lose through ineptitude: synonym: botch.
  • intransitive verb To cause (a covert intelligence operation or operative) to be revealed and thereby jeopardized.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English blaw.]

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

[From Middle English blowen, to bloom, from Old English blōwan; see bhel- in Indo-European roots.]

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

[Middle English blowen, from Old English blāwan; see bhlē- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English blo, bloo, from Old English blāw ("blue"), from Proto-Germanic *blēwaz (“blue, dark blue, grey, black”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰlēw- (“yellow, blond, grey”). Cognate with Latin flavus ("yellow"). More at blue.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English blowen, from Old English blāwan ("to blow, breathe, inflate, sound"), from Proto-Germanic *blēanan (“to blow”) (compare German blähen), from Proto-Indo-European *bhle- 'to swell, blow up' (compare Latin flare 'to blow', Armenian bełun 'fertile', Albanian plas ("to blow, explode")).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English blowe, blaw, northern variant of blēwe, from Proto-Germanic *blewwanan 'to beat' (compare Old Norse blegði 'wedge', German bläuen, Middle Dutch blouwen). Related to block.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English blowen, from Old English blōwan, from Proto-Germanic *blōanan (compare Dutch bloeien, German blühen), from Proto-Indo-European *bhel- 'to thrive, bloom' (compare Latin florēre 'to bloom').

Examples

  • A blow upon the eye will cause you to "see stars"; a similar _blow_ upon the ear will cause you to _hear_ an explosive sound.

    Applied Psychology: Making Your Own World Being the Second of a Series of Twelve Volumes on the Applications of Psychology to the Problems of Personal and Business Efficiency

  • Hydraulic riveting has demonstrated not only that the work could be as well done without a blow, but that it could be _better done without a blow_, and that the riveted material was stronger when so secured than when subjected to the more severe treatment under impact.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 810, July 11, 1891

  • I. i.8 (4,4) [blow, till thou burst thy wind, if room enough] Perhaps it might be read, -- _blow till thou burst, wind, if room enough_.

    Notes to Shakespeare — Volume 01: Comedies

  • I. ii.13 (259,5) [that may blow No sneaping rinds] _That may blow_ is a

    Notes to Shakespeare — Volume 01: Comedies

  • ARDEN: Blow-back really is the phenomenon where the gun is very close to or touching the target and the gasses cause the material to be blown around, and in fact, backward onto the against, hence the term blow-back.

    CNN Transcript Feb 14, 2006

  • "The last guy who makes the blow is always the one who gets suspended."

    USATODAY.com - Kings lose Peeler for Game 7

  • One of the other things that I ` m thinking about is the connection between the victim and the gun may also be a biological one, where you can have what they call blow-back, where blood or tissue from the victim may end up inside the barrel of the gun or on the muzzle of the gun.

    CNN Transcript Feb 9, 2006

  • Last Sunday I counselled my people that this blow is the end of human slavery in this Republic, perhaps in the world; and that an aristocracy which had committed the last crime of assassinating its truest friends, can have no more hope of life in any world ruled by

    The Nation's Sacrifice

  • Jack, who came from New York every week, would have liked what he called a blow-out, but the recent death of the Colonel and Amy's mourning precluded that, and only a very few were bidden to the ceremony, which took place in the drawing-room of the Crompton House, instead of the church.

    The Cromptons

  • Both in a moral and a military point of view the blow is a terrible one for the South, and may materially injure the chances of General Beauregard.

    London, Saturday, May 17

Comments

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  • Sweet and low, sweet and low,

    Wind of the western sea!

    Low, low, breathe and blow,

    Wind of the western sea!

    Over the rolling waters go,

    Come from the dying moon, and blow,

    Blow him again to me;

    While my little one, while my pretty one sleeps.

    - Alfred Tennyson, 'Sweet and Low'.

    November 1, 2008

  • I can only hope this is where the name of the sugar packets comes from.

    November 3, 2008

  • Ladies and Gentleman, I have the pleasure to present on my album... Mr. Dizzy Gillespie!

    Blow!

    — Stevie Wonder introducing Dizzy Gillespie's trumpet solo on the album cut of "Do I Do"

    February 22, 2011

  • blow your nose

    November 29, 2012