See also: Blue


English Wikipedia has articles on:
Various shades of blue
A Jämthund, which is a dog with blue (grey) fur
A bluefish

Alternative formsEdit


Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English blewe, from Anglo-Norman blew (blue)[1], from Frankish *blāu (blue) (perhaps through a Medieval Latin blāvus, blāvius (blue)), from Proto-Germanic *blēwaz (blue, dark blue), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰlēw- (yellow, blond, grey). Cognate with dialectal English blow (blue), Scots blue, blew (blue), North Frisian bla, blö (blue), Saterland Frisian blau (blue), Dutch blauw (blue), German blau (blue), Danish, Norwegian and Swedish blå (blue), Icelandic blár (blue), Latin flāvus (yellow), Middle Irish blá (yellow). Doublet of blae.


blue (comparative bluer, superlative bluest)

  1. Of the colour blue.
    the deep blue sea
  2. (informal) Depressed, melancholic, sad.
    • 1907, Robert William Chambers, chapter IX, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326:
      “Heavens!” exclaimed Nina, “the blue-stocking and the fogy!—and yours are pale blue, Eileen!—you’re about as self-conscious as Drina—slumping there with your hair tumbling à la Mérode! Oh, it's very picturesque, of course, but a straight spine and good grooming is better. []
    • 1904, Guy Wetmore Carryl, The Transgression of Andrew Vane, Henry Holt and Company, page 140:
      "Will you play some of the 'Garden' now?" she asked. "I think I should like it. I'm just the least bit blue."
    • 1978, Michael Johnson, "Bluer Than Blue"
      But I'm bluer than blue / Sadder than sad.
  3. Pale, without redness or glare; said of a flame.
    The candle burns blue.
  4. (politics) Supportive of, run by (a member of), pertaining to, or dominated by a political party represented by the colour blue.
    1. (politics, in particular, in the US) Supportive of, run by (a member of), pertaining to, or dominated by the Democratic Party. [late 20th c.]
      I live in a blue constituency.  Congress turned blue in the mid-term elections.
    2. (Australia, politics) Supportive of or related to the Liberal Party.
      Illawarra turns blue in Liberal washout
  5. (astronomy) Of the higher-frequency region of the part of the electromagnetic spectrum which is relevant in the specific observation.
  6. (of steak) Extra rare; left very raw and cold.
  7. (of a dog or cat) Having a coat of fur of a slaty gray shade.
  8. (archaic) Severe or overly strict in morals; gloomy.
    blue and sour religionists;  blue laws
  9. (archaic, of women) literary; bluestockinged.
  10. (particle physics) Having a color charge of blue.
  11. (entertainment) Risque or obscene
    His material is too blue for prime-time
  • Tok Pisin: blu
  • Fiji Hindi: bulu
  • Shona: bhuluu
  • Somali: buluug
  • Swahili: bluu, buluu


blue (countable and uncountable, plural blues)

  1. (countable and uncountable) The colour of the clear sky or the deep sea, between green and violet in the visible spectrum, and one of the primary additive colours for transmitted light; the colour obtained by subtracting red and green from white light using magenta and cyan filters; or any colour resembling this.
    other blue:  
    • 2004, David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas:
      She watches the yachts in the creamy evening blues.
  2. A blue dye or pigment.
  3. Any of several processes to protect metal against rust.
  4. Blue clothing
    The boys in blue marched to the pipers.
  5. (in the plural) A blue uniform. See blues.
  6. (slang) A member of law enforcement
  7. The sky, literally or figuratively.
    The ball came out of the blue and cracked his windshield.
    His request for leave came out of the blue.
  8. The ocean; deep waters.
  9. The far distance; a remote or distant place.
    • 1978, Peter Hathaway Capstick, Death in the Long Grass (→ISBN):
      The problem with buffalo as well as most African antelopes as a steady diet is that they have very little marbling or body fat and, after six months out in the blue, one dreams at night of a T-bone steak sizzling in great globules of yellow fat.
    • 2000, Thomas C. Barger, Timothy J. Barger, Out in the Blue: Letters from Arabia, 1937 to 1940 : a Young American Geologist Explores the Deserts of Early Saudi Arabia (→ISBN)
  10. Anything blue, especially to distinguish it from similar objects differing only in color.
  11. A dog or cat with a slaty gray coat.
    • 2000, Joe Stahlkuppe, American Pit Bull Terrier Handbook, page 131:
      On average, blues and other dilutes have weaker coats and skin problems seem more prevalent in the dilutes.
  12. (snooker) One of the colour balls used in snooker, with a value of five points.
  13. (entomology) Any of the butterflies of the subfamily Polyommatinae in the family Lycaenidae, most of which have blue on their wings.
  14. A bluefish.
    • 2012, Lenny Rudow, Rudow's Guide to Fishing the Mid Atlantic, page 102:
      Blues are about as vicious a fish as you'll find on the Atlantic seaboard — they will continue to slash through schools of bait even after they have eaten so much that they're constantly regurgitating shredded baitfish.
  15. (Australia, colloquial) An argument.
    • 2008, Cheryl Jorgensen, The Taint, page 135,
      If they had a blue between themselves, they kept it there, it never flowed out onto the streets to innocent people — like a lot of things that have been happenin′ on the streets today.
    • 2009, John Gilfoyle, Remember Cannon Hill, page 102,
      On another occasion, there was a blue between Henry Daniels and Merv Wilson down at the pig sale. I don′t know what it was about, it only lasted a minute or so, but they shook hands when it was over and that was the end of it.
    • 2011, Julietta Jameson, Me, Myself and Lord Byron, unnumbered page,
      I was a bit disappointed. Was that it? No abuse like Lord Byron had endured? Not that I was wishing that upon myself. It was just that a blue between my parents, albeit a raging, foul, bile-spitting hate fest, was not exactly Charles Dickens.
  16. A liquid with an intense blue colour, added to a laundry wash to prevent yellowing of white clothes.
    • 1948, Alec H. Chisholm, Bird Wonders of Australia, page 13:
      It was applied methodically, carefully, resolutely, as in the fashion of a Satin-bird with charcoal, desiccated wood or blue from laundry-bags.
  17. (Britain) A type of firecracker.
  18. (now historical) A bluestocking.
    • 1781, Frances Burney, Journals & Letters, Penguin 2001, p. 172:
      Lord Lyttelton's Life by Dr Johnson […] which a whole tribe of Blues, with Mrs Montagu at their Head, have Vowed to execrate and revenge […].
  19. (particle physics) One of the three color charges for quarks.
Further readingEdit


blue (third-person singular simple present blues, present participle blueing or bluing, simple past and past participle blued)

  1. (ergative) To make or become blue.
  2. (transitive, metallurgy) To treat the surface of steel so that it is passivated chemically and becomes more resistant to rust.
  3. (transitive, laundry) To brighten by treating with blue (laundry aid)
  4. (transitive, slang) To spend (money) extravagantly; to blow.
    • 1974, GB Edwards, The Book of Ebenezer Le Page, New York 2007, page 311:
      They was willing to blue the lot and have nothing left when they got home except debts on the never-never.

Derived termsEdit

Terms derived from the adjective, noun, or verb blue

See alsoEdit

Colors in English · colors, colours (layout · text)
     white      gray, grey      black
             red; crimson              orange; brown              yellow; cream
             lime              green              mint
             cyan; teal              azure, sky blue              blue
             violet; indigo              magenta; purple              pink


Etymology 2Edit

From the color of the envelopes used to contain missives of the censors and managers to vaudevillian performers on objectionable material from their acts that needed to be excised. (Can this(+) etymology be sourced?)


blue (comparative more blue, superlative most blue)

  1. (entertainment, informal) Pornographic or profane.
    The air was blue with oaths.
    a blue movie





  1. bluely

Related termsEdit