See also: Blow and b'low


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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English blowen, from Old English blāwan (to blow, breathe, inflate, sound), from Proto-West Germanic *blāan, 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.
  2. (transitive) To propel by an air current (or, if under water, a water current), usually with the mouth.
    Blow the dust off that book and open it up.
    The blennies join together to blow the sand off the bobbit.
  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. (transitive) To force a current of air upon with the mouth, or by other means.
    to blow the fire
  6. (transitive) 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.
  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!")
    • 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, H.L. Brækstad, transl., Folk and Fairy Tales, page 184:
      Soon after he [a porpoise] appeared again, blowing very hard, but the next moment he turned over; Rasmus was not slow in putting the boat-hook in him and hauling him into the boat with my assistance.
  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, historical, military, of a person) To blow from a gun.
  13. (transitive) To cause the sudden destruction of.
    He blew the tires and the engine.
  14. (intransitive) To suddenly fail destructively.
    He tried to sprint, but his ligaments blew and he was barely able to walk to the finish line.
  15. (intransitive) (used to express displeasure or frustration) Damn.
  16. (intransitive, slang, sometimes considered vulgar) To be very undesirable.
    Synonym: suck
    This blows!
  17. (transitive, slang) To recklessly squander.
    • 1932, Delos W. Lovelace, King Kong, published 1965, page 136:
      ‘Holy Mackerel, Ann! I’m certainly glad we blew ourselves for that outfit of yours.’
    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.
  18. (transitive, vulgar) To fellate; to perform oral sex on (usually a man).
    Who did you have to blow to get those backstage passes?
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:give head
  19. (transitive, slang) To leave, especially suddenly or in a hurry.
    Let's blow this joint.
  20. (transitive) To make flyblown, to defile, especially with fly eggs.
    • c. 1606–1607, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Anthonie and Cleopatra”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene ii], page 365, column 1:
      Shall they hoyſt me vp,
      And ſhew me to the ſhowting Varlotarie
      Of cenſuring Rome? Rather a ditch in Egypt,
      Be gentle graue vnto me, rather on Nylus mudde
      Lay me ſtarke-nak'd, and let the water-Flies
      Blow me into abhorring;
    • 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene i], page 11, column 1:
      Fer. I am, in my condition
      A Prince (Miranda) I do thinke a King
      (I would not ſo) and would no more endure
      This wodden ſlauerie, then to ſuffer
      The fleſh-flie blow my mouth: heare my ſoule ſpeake.
    • 1938, Norman Lindsay, Age of Consent, Sydney: Ure Smith, published 1962, page 78:
      That decision was given an added kick by fury when he found that Podson had left the safe door open, and flies had blown the meat.
  21. (obsolete) To spread by report; to publish; to disclose.
  22. (obsolete) To inflate, as with pride; to puff up.
  23. (intransitive) To breathe hard or quick; to pant; to puff.
  24. (transitive) To put out of breath; to cause to blow from fatigue.
  25. (dated) To talk loudly; boast; storm.
    • 1866 February 6, Mark Twain, “Remarkable Dream”, in Virginia City Territorial Enterprise:
      I don't want the worst characters in hell to be running after me with friendly messages and little testimonials of admiration for Smythe, and blowing about his talents, and bragging on him, and belching their villainous fire and brimstone all through the atmosphere and making my place smell worse than a menagerie.
    • a. 1940, Mildred Haun, "Shin-Bone Rocks" in The Hawk's Done Gone p. 218:
      He didn't just set around and try to out sweettalk somebody; he got out and out-fit somebody. He wouldn't be blowing when he told his boys how he fit for the woman he got.
    • 1969, Charles Ambrose McCarthy, The Great Molly Maguire Hoax (page 113)
      At the breaking edge with him and completely fed up with his everlasting bragging and blowing about his personal exploits, and desirous of putting him somewhere, anywhere, so they wouldn't be continuously annoyed by him, []
    • 1976, David Toulmin, Blown Seed (page 148)
      Audie never liked him because he was further in with old Craig than he was, bragging and blowing about his work and the things he could do, while Audie sat quiet as a mouse listening to his blab.
  26. (slang, informal, African-American Vernacular) To sing.
    That girl has a wonderful voice; just listen to her blow!
  27. (Scientology, intransitive) To leave the Church of Scientology in an unauthorized manner.
Derived termsEdit
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 (countable and uncountable, 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.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:cocaine
    • 2001, David McKenna, Blow, spoken by Derek:
      Jesus Christ, George, I don't see you for two years and you show up on my doorstep with 110 pounds of blow.
  4. (uncountable, Britain, slang) Cannabis.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:marijuana
  5. (uncountable, US Chicago Regional, slang) Heroin.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:heroin
  6. (informal, vulgar) A blowjob; fellatio
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:oral sex
    His girlfriend gave him a blow.

Etymology 2Edit

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). Doublet of blue.


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

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

Etymology 3Edit

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


blow (plural blows)

  1. The act of striking or hitting.
    Synonyms: bace, strike, hit, punch
    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.
  2. A sudden or forcible act or effort; an assault.
    • 1838-1842', Thomas Arnold, History of Rome
      A vigorous blow might win [Hanno's camp].
  3. A damaging occurrence.
    Synonyms: disaster, calamity
    A further blow to the group came in 1917 when Thomson died while canoeing in Algonquin Park.
    • c. 1603–1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of King Lear”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene vi]:
      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.
  4. (Australia, shearing, historical) A cut made to a sheep's fleece by a shearer using hand-shears.
    • 1891 December 5, The Bacchus Marsh Express, page 7, column 7:
      Click goes his shears; click, click, click.
      Wide are the blows, and his hand is moving quick,
      The ringer looks round, for he lost it by a blow,
      And he curses that old shearer with the bare belled ewe.
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.
Derived 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:
      [] for that he believed 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)