Definition: Blue

From New World Encyclopedia
(Redirected from Blue)


From Middle English blewe, from Anglo-Norman blew (blue), from Middle French bleu, from Old French blöe, bleve, blef (blue), 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 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).

Possibly related also to English blee (color), from Old English blēo (color); but direct derivatives of Proto-Germanic *blēwaz (blue, dark blue) in Old English include: Old English blāw and blēo (blue), Old English blǣwen (bluish, light-blue), blǣhǣwen (blue-colored, bluish, violet or purple color, literally blue-hued). There seems to be a parallel connection in Germanic between words for blue and color, dually exemplified by Proto-West Germanic *blīu (color, blee) and *blāu (blue); and Proto-Germanic *hiwją (color, hue) and *hēwijaz (blue, purple).


blue (comparative bluer or more blue, superlative bluest or most blue)

  1. Having blue (noun) as its color.
    When I was little, I wanted to explore the deep blue sea.
  2. Depressed, melancholic, sad.
    She kept telling me that there was no reason to feel blue on Christmas.
  3. Having a bluish or purplish shade of the skin due to a lack of oxygen to the normally deep red blood cells.
    My hands were blue with cold.
    The divers got them out of the car just in time – they were starting to turn blue.
  4. Pale, without redness or glare; said of a flame.
    The candle burns blue.
  5. (politics) Supportive of, run by (a member of), pertaining to, or dominated by a political party represented by the color blue.
    1. (US politics) Supportive of, run by (a member of), pertaining to, or dominated by the Democratic Party.
      I live in a blue constituency.  Congress turned blue in the mid-term elections.
    2. (Australian politics) Supportive of or related to the Liberal Party.
      Illawarra turns blue in Liberal washout.
    3. (UK politics) Supportive of or related to the Conservative Party.
  6. (astronomy) Of the higher-frequency region of the part of the electromagnetic spectrum which is relevant in the specific observation.
  7. (of steak) Extra rare; left very raw and cold.
  8. (of a dog or cat) Having a coat of fur of a slaty gray shade.
  9. (particle physics) Having a color charge of blue.


blue (countable and uncountable, plural blues)

  1. The color of the clear sky or the deep sea, between green and purple in the visible spectrum, and one of the primary additive colors for transmitted light; the color obtained by subtracting red and green from white light using magenta and cyan filters; or any color resembling this.
    We ended up using blue for the text color of the website.
  2. Anything colored blue, especially to distinguish it from similar objects differing only in color.
    I don't like red Smarties. Have you got a blue?
  3. A blue dye or pigment.
  4. Blue clothing.
    The boys in blue marched to the pipers.
    1. (in the plural) A blue uniform.
    2. A member of a sports team that wears blue colors; (in the plural) a nickname for the team as a whole.
      Come on, blues! You can do it!
    3. Sporting colors awarded by a university or other institution for sporting achievement, such as representing one's university, especially and originally at Oxford and Cambridge Universities in England.
      He excelled at rowing and received a blue in the sport at Oxford.
    4. A person who has received such sporting colors.
      He was a blue in rugby at Cambridge.
  5. The sky, literally or figuratively.
    The balloon floated up into the blue.
    His request for leave came out of the blue.
  6. The ocean; deep waters.
  7. The far distance; a remote or distant place.
  8. A dog or cat with a slaty gray coat.
  9. (snooker) One of the color balls used in snooker, with a value of five points.
  10. (entomology) Any of the butterflies of the subfamily Polyommatinae in the family Lycaenidae, most of which have blue on their wings.
  11. A bluefish.
  12. A liquid with an intense blue color, added to a laundry wash to prevent yellowing of white clothes.
  13. Any of several processes to protect metal against rust.
  14. (particle physics) One of the three color charges for quarks.
  15. (UK) A member or supporter of the Conservative Party.
    He is a true blue.

Derived terms

  • arctic blue
  • black-and-blue
  • blue angel
  • blue ash
  • bluebell
  • blueberry
  • bluebird
  • blue cheese
  • blue-collar
  • blue corn
  • blue crab
  • blue crane
  • blue falcon
  • bluefin
  • bluefish
  • blue fly
  • bluegill
  • bluegrass
  • blue heron
  • blue hole
  • blueing
  • blueish
  • blue jay
  • blue jeans
  • blue light
  • blue moon
  • bluen
  • blueness
  • blue noise
  • blue note
  • blue oak
  • blue-ocean
  • blue pages
  • blueprint
  • blue raspberry
  • blue ribbon
  • blues
  • blue screen
  • blue spruce
  • blue state
  • bluestone
  • blue whale
  • bluish
  • cerulean blue
  • cobalt blue
  • code blue
  • cordon bleu
  • dark blue
  • deep blue
  • deep blue sea
  • electric blue
  • light blue
  • navy blue
  • royal blue
  • sky blue
  • true blue


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

  1. To make or become blue; to turn blue.
  2. (metallurgy) To treat the surface of steel so that it is passivated chemically and becomes more resistant to rust.
  3. (laundry) To brighten by treating with blue laundry aid.


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