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Etymology edit

From an obsolete sense of blush meaning to glance at.

Pronunciation edit

Prepositional phrase edit

at first blush

  1. (idiomatic) Upon first impression or consideration; seemingly, apparently, ostensibly.
    • 1843, Charles James Lever, Jack Hinton, the Guardsman:
      The finer and more distinctive features of a land require deep study and long acquaintance, but the broader traits of nationality are caught in an instant, or not caught at all. Familiarity with, destroys them, and it is only at first blush that we learn to appreciate them with force.
    • 1990, Nicolas Wolfson, Corporate First Amendment: Rights and the Sec, Quorum Books, →ISBN, page 1:
      At first blush it appears rather strange to consider for even a moment the possibility that corporate financial and business disclosure rises to the dignity of speech protected by the First Amendment.
    • 2002, Clarence A. Bonnen, Daniel E. Flage, Descartes and Method: A Search for a Method in Meditations[1], page 100:
      Third, it is only at first blush that one finds no exercises in conceptual elucidation
    • 2008, Dennis Martin Altman, The First Liberal: A Secular Look at Jesus' Socio-Political Ideas and How They Become the Basis of Modern Liberalism, iUniverse, →ISBN, page 47:
      That may sound innocent at first blush, but a phrase like "American leadership is good … for the world" is a signal that these people want to impose their will on others; and when military strength and moral principle are added, the caution flag must be raised.
    • 2012, Cynthia Garner, Secret of the Wolf[2], Forever, →ISBN:
      At first blush it seemed the attacks by the werewolf were random.

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