Last modified on 12 November 2014, at 01:44





From Middle English blenden, either from Old English blandan, blondan[1] or from Old Norse blanda (to blend, mix)[2] (which was originally a strong verb with the present-tense stem blend[3]; compare blendingr (a blending, a mixture; a half-breed)[4]), whence also Danish blande, or from a blend of the Old English and Old Norse terms.[5] Compare Gothic 𐌱𐌻𐌰𐌽𐌳𐌰𐌽 (blandan), Old Church Slavonic блєсти (blesti, to go astray).


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blend (plural blends)

  1. A mixture of two or more things.
    Their music has been described as a blend of jazz and heavy metal.
    Our department has a good blend of experienced workers and young promise.
  2. (linguistics) A word formed by combining two other words; a grammatical contamination, portmanteau word.
    The word brunch is a blend of the words breakfast and lunch.




blend (third-person singular simple present blends, present participle blending, simple past and past participle blended or (poetic) blent)

  1. (transitive) To mingle; to mix; to unite intimately; to pass or shade insensibly into each other.
    To make hummus you need to blend chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic.
  2. (intransitive) To be mingled or mixed.
    • Irving
      There is a tone of solemn and sacred feeling that blends with our conviviality.
    • To feel no other breezes than are blown / Through its tall woods with high romances blent - Keats, 1884
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 3, The China Governess[1]:
      Sepia Delft tiles surrounded the fireplace, their crudely drawn Biblical scenes in faded cyclamen blending with the pinkish pine, while above them, instead of a mantelshelf, there was an archway high enough to form a balcony with slender balusters and a tapestry-hung wall behind.
    • 2013 May-June, William E. Conner, “An Acoustic Arms Race”, American Scientist, volume 101, number 3, page 206-7: 
      Earless ghost swift moths become “invisible” to echolocating bats by forming mating clusters close [] above vegetation and effectively blending into the clutter of echoes that the bat receives from the leaves and stems around them. Many insects probably use this strategy, which is a close analogy to crypsis in the visible world—camouflage and other methods for blending into one’s visual background.
  3. (obsolete) To pollute by mixture or association; to spoil or corrupt; to blot; to stain.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)


Derived termsEdit



  1. ^ blend” in Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.
  2. ^ blend” in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Online
  3. ^ “blanda” in: Richard Cleasby, Guðbrandur Vigfússon — An Icelandic-English Dictionary (1874)
  4. ^ “blendingr” in: Richard Cleasby, Guðbrandur Vigfússon — An Icelandic-English Dictionary (1874)
  5. ^ blend” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).




  1. first-person singular present indicative of blenden
  2. imperative of blenden