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See also: Blow and b'low



English Wikipedia has articles on:


  • (UK) IPA(key): /bləʊ/, [bləʊ̯]
  • (US) IPA(key): /bloʊ/, [bloʊ̯]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -əʊ

Etymology 1Edit

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.


blow (comparative blower or more blow, superlative blowest or most blow)

  1. (now chiefly dialectal, Northern England) Blue.

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English blowen, from Old English blāwan (to blow, breathe, inflate, sound), from Proto-Germanic *blēaną (to blow) (compare German blähen), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰleh₁- (to swell, blow up) (compare Latin flō (to blow) and Old Armenian բեղուն (bełun, fertile)).


blow (third-person singular simple present blows, present participle blowing, simple past blew, past participle blown)

  1. (intransitive) To produce an air current.
    • 1606, William Shakespeare, King Lear, act 3, scene 2:
      "Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!"
    • 1613, William Shakespeare, The Tempest, act 1, scene 1:
      "Blow till thou burst thy wind, if room enow!"
    • Walton
      Hark how it rains and blows!
  2. (transitive) To propel by an air current.
    Blow the dust off that book and open it up.
  3. (intransitive) To be propelled by an air current.
    The leaves blow through the streets in the fall.
  4. (transitive) To create or shape by blowing; as in to blow bubbles, to blow glass.
  5. To force a current of air upon with the mouth, or by other means.
    to blow the fire
  6. To clear of contents by forcing air through.
    to blow an egg
    to blow one's nose
  7. (transitive) To cause to make sound by blowing, as a musical instrument.
  8. (intransitive) To make a sound as the result of being blown.
    In the harbor, the ships' horns blew.
    • Milton
      There let the pealing organ blow.
  9. (intransitive, of a cetacean) To exhale visibly through the spout the seawater which it has taken in while feeding.
    There's nothing more thrilling to the whale watcher than to see a whale surface and blow.
    There she blows! (i.e. "I see a whale spouting!")
  10. (intransitive) To explode.
    Get away from that burning gas tank! It's about to blow!
  11. (transitive, with "up" or with prep phrase headed by "to") To cause to explode, shatter, or be utterly destroyed.
    The demolition squad neatly blew the old hotel up.
    The aerosol can was blown to bits.
  12. (transitive) To cause sudden destruction of.
    He blew the tires and the engine.
  13. (intransitive) To suddenly fail destructively.
    He tried to sprint, but his ligaments blew and he was barely able to walk to the finish line.
  14. (intransitive, slang) To be very undesirable (see also suck).
    This blows!
  15. (transitive, slang) To recklessly squander.
    I managed to blow $1000 at blackjack in under an hour.
    I blew $35 thou on a car.
    We blew an opportunity to get benign corporate sponsorship.
  16. (transitive, vulgar) To fellate; to perform oral sex on (usually a man)
    Who did you have to blow to get those backstage passes?
  17. (transitive, slang) To leave.
    Let's blow this joint.
  18. To make flyblown, to defile, especially with fly eggs.
    • 1606, William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, Act V, scene 2, line 55.
      Shall they hoist me up,
      And show me to the shouting varletry
      Of censuring Rome? Rather a ditch in Egypt
      Be gentle grave unto me, rather on Nilus' mud
      Lay me stark naked, and let the water-flies
      Blow me into abhorring!
    • 1610, The Tempest, by Shakespeare, act 3 scene 1
      I am, in my condition,
      A prince, Miranda; I do think, a king;—
      I would not so!—and would no more endure
      This wooden slavery than to suffer
      The flesh-fly blow my mouth.
  19. (obsolete) To spread by report; to publish; to disclose.
    • Dryden
      Through the court his courtesy was blown.
    • Whiting
      His language does his knowledge blow.
  20. (obsolete) To inflate, as with pride; to puff up.
    • Shakespeare
      Look how imagination blows him.
  21. (intransitive) To breathe hard or quick; to pant; to puff.
    • Shakespeare
      Here is Mistress Page at the door, sweating and blowing.
  22. (transitive) To put out of breath; to cause to blow from fatigue.
    to blow a horse
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir Walter Scott to this entry?)
  23. (obsolete) To talk loudly; to boast; to storm.
    • Bartlett
      You blow behind my back, but dare not say anything to my face.
  24. (slang, informal, African American Vernacular) To sing
    That girl has a wonderful voice; just listen to her blow!
  25. (Scientology, intransitive) To leave the Church of Scientology in an unauthorized manner.
Derived termsEdit
Terms derived from blow (verb)
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


blow (plural blows)

  1. A strong wind.
    We're having a bit of a blow this afternoon.
  2. (informal) A chance to catch one’s breath.
    The players were able to get a blow during the last timeout.
  3. (uncountable, US, slang) Cocaine.
  4. (uncountable, Britain, slang) Cannabis.
  5. (uncountable, US Chicago Regional, slang) Heroin.

Etymology 3Edit

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


blow (plural blows)

  1. the act of striking or hitting
    A fabricator is used to direct a sharp blow to the surface of the stone.
    During an exchange to end round 13, Duran landed a blow to the midsection.
    Synonyms: bace, strike, hit, punch
  2. a sudden or forcible act or effort; an assault
    • T. Arnold
      A vigorous blow might win [Hanno's camp].
  3. a damaging occurrence.
    A further blow to the group came in 1917 when Thomson died while canoeing in Algonquin Park.
    • Shakespeare
      a most poor man, made tame to fortune's blows
    • 2011 April 15, Saj Chowdhury, “Norwich 2 - 1 Nott'm Forest”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      Norwich returned to second in the Championship with victory over Nottingham Forest, whose promotion hopes were dealt another blow.
    Synonyms: disaster, calamity
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 4Edit

From Middle English blowen, from Old English blōwan, from Proto-Germanic *blōaną (compare Dutch bloeien, German blühen), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰleh₃- (compare Latin florēre (to bloom)).


blow (third-person singular simple present blows, present participle blowing, simple past blew, past participle blown)

  1. to blossom; to cause to bloom or blossom
    • 1599, William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, Act 4 Scene 1
      You seem to me as Dian in her orb,
      As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown;
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 5
      How blows the citron grove.
    • 1784, William Cowper, Tirocinium; or, A Review of Schools
      Boys are at best but pretty buds unblown,
      Whose scent and hues are rather guessed than known;
    • 2015 January 26, Mark Diacono, “How to grow and cook cauliflower, 2015's trendiest veg: Tricky to grow, boring to boil ... so why is the outmoded cauliflower back at the culinary cutting edge? [print version: Cauliflower power, 24 January 2015, p. G3]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Gardening)[2]:
      Romanesco is slow to blow and more forgiving to grow than most cauliflowers, while being perhaps the most delicious and certainly the nuttiest-flavoured of the lot.
Related termsEdit


blow (plural blows)

  1. a mass or display of flowers; a yield
    • 1710, Joseph Addison, “From my own apartment, August 29”, in The Tatler[3], page 181:
      he could shew me such a blow of tulips as was not to be matched in the whole country.
  2. a display of anything brilliant or bright
  3. a bloom, state of flowering
    roses in full blow.
Related termsEdit


Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of blowen (to blow)