Main definitions of blue in English

: blue1blue2

blue1

adjectivebluest, bluer

  • 1Of a colour intermediate between green and violet, as of the sky or sea on a sunny day.

    ‘the clear blue sky’
    ‘a blue silk shirt’
    ‘deep blue eyes’
    • ‘I put on my best pair of jeans and my favorite blue top.’
    • ‘Each of these pixels has a red, green, or blue filter placed over it, and a light is shone from behind the screen.’
    • ‘Take your grey bin, green bin, blue bag and green box and place them on the footpath outside your property, and leave them there, seven days a week.’
    • ‘The canal was an endless wall of sun-faded and sea-beaten red, green, and blue boats.’
    • ‘The painting shows a Victorian scene in green, pink and blue colours on a cream background.’
    • ‘With blue skies and temperatures in the 80s, southeast Alaska doesn't feel like a rainforest.’
    • ‘The snow-capped mountains, rolling hills and deep blue sky paint a picture no artist could draw.’
    • ‘We both love the color red and how it looks with the sage green and pale blue trim on our house.’
    • ‘Water of different depth shows different colours in the sunshine such as yellow, green, blue and transparent.’
    • ‘The water was quite calm and the sky was blue.’
    • ‘If I only have to choose between green or blue scrubs then my brain has much less information to process and mess up.’
    • ‘Hot springs oozing from an underground volcano adds tints of yellow and green to the blue ocean.’
    • ‘It was a typical tranquil morning, bright sunshine, blue sea, green trees softening the light.’
    • ‘Beneath the cloudy sky, the green and blue shade cast by the giant trees fell in a mottled pattern on the forest floor.’
    • ‘She was wearing her blue school uniform.’
    • ‘The chameleon is sometimes green, sometimes blue, it is all colours by turn, and sometimes it is absolutely colourless.’
    • ‘Out across the water, Iona lay basking under an astonishingly blue Hebridean sky.’
    • ‘At the age of seventy, his blue eyes still twinkle under a mop of corkscrew curls.’
    • ‘The sun was up, the sky was blue, there wasn't a cloud to spoil the view.’
    • ‘Some of the crystals, especially those occurring with tourmaline, show a blue core and green rim.’
    sky-blue, azure, cobalt, cobalt blue, sapphire, cerulean, navy, navy blue, saxe, saxe blue, oxford blue, cambridge blue, ultramarine, lapis lazuli, indigo, aquamarine, turquoise, teal, teal blue, cyan, of the colour of the sky, of the colour of the sea
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a person's skin) having turned blue as a result of cold or breathing difficulties.
      ‘Ashley went blue and I panicked’
      • ‘Victims suffered from acute cyanosis, a blue discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes.’
      • ‘There may also be obvious cyanosis (when the lips and/or skin appears blue due to lack of oxygen in the blood).’
      • ‘She turned blue whenever she cried, and the doctor said it would be a miracle if she lived past her first month.’
      • ‘One day, she turned blue and stopped breathing.’
      • ‘He used to go blue during the feed so I would sit him up and blow in his face and he would gasp for breath and continue his feed.’
    2. 1.2 (of a bird or other animal) having blue markings.
      ‘a blue jay’
      • ‘I should have told you in previous episodes that anger is characterised by a red bear, sloth by a light blue goat, and avarice by a yellow frog.’
      • ‘In particular searches have been made for the kiwi, blue duck, yellow head and the South Island kokako.’
      • ‘A gaggle of Catholic nuns from Kerala, in full habits, delicately dipped their feet like pale blue wading birds.’
      • ‘He bent down and pinned the little, blue hummingbird onto Rupert's winter jacket and leaned back with satisfaction.’
      • ‘A blue eagle kept circling over them, so Conor and Beolagh hid in the Prince's coat pockets.’
      • ‘There's a pond visited by ducks, geese, blue herons, otters, deer and the odd bear.’
      • ‘He had one arm hanging by his side and the other had a small blue beetle crawling over it.’
      • ‘The powdery blue kingfisher has a more varied diet than the name suggests.’
      • ‘Clouds of metallic blue butterflies dispersed off their gold and waxen perches and rippled over his head.’
      • ‘Plumage on a mature blue goose is a deep slate tone except for a white head and, in some, a buff-colored belly.’
      • ‘Start early and you may surprise little green or great blue herons prowling the shallows.’
      • ‘The rest of its body looked as if it were a giant blue lizard, standing on its hind legs like an angered bear.’
      • ‘According to zoology, the origin of blue bull is not traced to the species of cow.’
      • ‘Perhaps the boys will even be somewhere in the stands at Loftus - a small band of red dragons in a sea of blue bulls.’
      • ‘Every spring, about 100 pairs nest here along with great blue herons and snowy egrets.’
      • ‘Out of the sky, a huge, blue eagle flew out from the sky, small black marks over him, his golden eyes burning.’
      • ‘Animals include duikers, eland and colobus, vervet and blue monkeys.’
      • ‘A blue worm threading its way through sploshes of paint leaves me cold.’
      • ‘Among the thriving wildlife, native birds such as superb blue wren compete for a mate.’
      • ‘Morpho menelaus is a kind of bright blue butterfly, but also has a slight purple colour.’
    3. 1.3 (of a cat, fox, or rabbit) having fur of a smoky grey colour.
      ‘the blue fox’
      • ‘She admires the drawing above the oven: a drawing of the blue fox howling at the moon.’
      • ‘He grabs the shredded pieces of his drawing: the blue fox howling at the moon.’
      • ‘The Korat is an elegant silver-tipped blue cat which has a unique colour that appears to absorb light, resulting in an intense sheen often described as a halo effect and best appreciated in the sunlight.’
      • ‘He was a blue cat named Paul, a sweet little fellow with a pleasant disposition.’
      • ‘On the way we saw a blue fox cross the road.’
    4. 1.4 (of a ski run) of the second-lowest level of difficulty, as indicated by blue markers positioned along it.
      • ‘There are just a few chair lifts that end where the blue trail crosses the cliff.’
      • ‘And to return to the southern lodge, forget it, you are forced with either a black trail or a long and very challenging blue trail.’
      • ‘The rest of the trail is rated blue/intermidiate but I think that it's only due to some recent storm damage from earlier this year.’
      • ‘Last year the trail was rated blue (moderate) and the rating for this next year is not decided yet.’
      • ‘‘It will be great fun and the good thing is that anybody can join in, as long as they can ski the blue runs,’ said Nina.’
    5. 1.5Physics Denoting one of three colours of quark.
      • ‘For example, if absorption of a gluon changes a blue quark into a red quark, then the gluon itself must have carried one unit of red charge and minus one unit of blue charge.’
      • ‘So for instance, we could start off with a red quark, which emits a red-antiblue gluon and becomes a blue quark.’
      • ‘So there must be a red quark, a blue quark and a green quark.’
      • ‘A blue quark will bind with a red quark and a yellow.’
      • ‘This blue quark will become red and the original red quark will become blue.’
  • 2informal (of a person or mood) melancholy, sad, or depressed.

    ‘he's feeling blue’
    • ‘He joked around with Dallas, played games with him and cheered him up when he felt blue.’
    • ‘Deep in their own blue mood, they're unaffected by people or events that are going on around them.’
    • ‘When I'm blue I find nothing more therapeutic than cleaning up around the house a little.’
    • ‘The air then turned blue as Smith gave vent to his feelings both on the way back to the dressing room and, even more volubly, in the dressing room.’
    • ‘The blue mood of yesterday seems to have lifted a little.’
    • ‘The majority of the record is mid-tempo and the dreamy guitars and harmonies throughout manage to create a blue mood.’
    • ‘However, a third consecutive league defeat after conceding a goal from a set-piece left the Baggies players feeling blue.’
    • ‘Maybe the rain brings more blue mood for me and a three year anniversary reminds me to look back to see what happened in the days before.’
    depressed, down, sad, saddened, unhappy, melancholy, miserable, sorrowful, gloomy, dejected, downhearted, disheartened, despondent, dispirited, low, in low spirits, low-spirited, heavy-hearted, glum, morose, dismal, downcast, cast down, tearful
    View synonyms
  • 3informal (of a film, joke, or story) having sexual or pornographic content.

    ‘a blue movie’
    • ‘We have the same sort of content as the women's classes but there is the odd slightly blue joke, too.’
    • ‘‘My father never swore in his life or told a blue joke, but he was magic.’’
    • ‘Video cassettes showing blue films and cinema houses lost out to the village gurdwara.’
    • ‘Would you be content with watching a blue movie instead of doing the real thing?’
    • ‘However, airport sources claimed some employees were watching a blue film and accidentally sent it out on the airport's television sets.’
    indecent, dirty, rude, coarse, vulgar, bawdy, lewd, racy, risqué, salacious, naughty, wicked, improper, unseemly, smutty, spicy, raw, off colour, ribald, rabelaisian
    View synonyms
  • 4British informal Politically conservative.

    ‘the successful blue candidate’
    • ‘‘All over the country, communities have voted blue and gone green,’ he said.’
    • ‘But given the complexities of blue camp politics we have to ask: On a roll to where?’
    • ‘‘Where people have voted blue, their councils have gone green,’ he wrote.’
    • ‘The vast majority in the wealth creating areas of Southern England voted blue.’
    • ‘The blue political parties, meanwhile, are closing the floodgates with all their might.’

nounPlural blues

  • 1mass noun Blue colour or pigment.

    ‘she was dressed in blue’
    ‘the dark blue of his eyes’
    count noun ‘armchairs in pastel blues and greens’
    • ‘There was a photograph on the wall of a model with tresses boldly streaked in blue - I was concerned.’
    • ‘Designers took the traditional Masonic colours - green and gold - and wove in blue and black.’
    • ‘One in brilliant yellow, another scarlet red and the two remaining were adorned in blue and glass green.’
    • ‘She had the children in mind in choosing colours, wares, right down to bathroom sets in blue for boys and pink for girls.’
    • ‘Inside are piles of battered registers, marked with the date in blue.’
    • ‘As one would stare upwards, the sky would change from red, to orange, to green, to dark blue, to royal purple.’
    • ‘If it is in red ink, the letter is false; if in blue, it is true.’
    • ‘It's cluttered and the colours (dark blue and purple) will not be to many people's tastes.’
    • ‘The vehicle involved, which had also been damaged, had been a light green or blue in colour, although the make or model was not known.’
    • ‘The water-resistant fabric is available in blue, green or natural.’
    • ‘This being the set I reviewed, they also come in blue, yellow, green sliver and black.’
    • ‘It is even available in bright colours like blue, green, yellow and orange.’
    • ‘I was hoping she'd turn up to work the next day in blue and green, but she didn't.’
    • ‘Just remember, if you see text in blue in this article, that means we clipped it from the editorial section.’
    • ‘All samples are shown at the same magnification, with spindles in green and DNA in blue.’
    • ‘The Thursday evening changes are marked in red; the Friday changes in blue.’
    • ‘The words in blue are ‘hyperlinks’ and clicking on them will take you to an area with more information.’
    • ‘Using strong colours like dark blue, deep reds and yellows, her work is certainly striking.’
    • ‘My room is colored in blue with glow in the dark stars and planets on them.’
    • ‘Familiar in its colourless form, it also occurs in a wide range of strong colours including blue, green, pink, and yellow.’
    1. 1.1 Blue clothes or material.
      ‘Susan wore blue’
      • ‘I haven't seen as poor a performance from the men in blue.’
      • ‘Suddenly the door slid open, and a tall man wearing nothing but blue came into the room.’
      • ‘Caroline finished her toilette by herself, wearing a simple morning frock of blue.’
      • ‘You open the door and there they are, the boys and girls in blue.’
      • ‘The principal was a tall woman that usually always wore red but today she was wearing blue.’
      • ‘Andrew, wearing all blue, created by metallic clothing, walks into a small office.’
      • ‘Had Chelsea decided to follow McNeill's nose, Ronaldo might now be wearing blue not red.’
      • ‘Mother was wearing a heavily embroidered gown of light blue that suited her perfectly for once.’
      • ‘She wore a gown of startling blue, hinting that her name should have been Sapphire.’
      • ‘The men wore a similar hairstyle, all ages and genders wearing shades of blue.’
      • ‘Those who wore gray were for it, and those who wore blue were against it.’
      • ‘The old man was robed in deep blue with a cloak of the same purple the guards wore.’
      • ‘The twins at this point was her age and the girl had dyed her hair a light orange color and wore colored contacts of blue.’
      • ‘He will be at Leederville Oval on Monday but he won't be wearing red and blue.’
      • ‘You wear red and the sovereign wears blue, but there are so many other colors in the world.’
      • ‘He always picks out white shirts until he doesn't have any left, and then he wears blue.’
      • ‘The boys in blue responded in the best manner on the scoreboard.’
      • ‘Unlike the shades of blue which she wore currently, the shirts were a light grey, the pants, black.’
      • ‘The police wear blue because that is the color of the police only and no one else.’
      • ‘Di Canio, who will be out of contract with West Ham in June, wants to finish his playing days wearing the claret and blue.’
    2. 1.2 The blue ball in snooker, billiards, and similar games.
    3. 1.3
      another term for bluing
      • ‘From memory, I think her preferred method was to paint the designs on using laundry blue - guaranteed to wash out!’
      • ‘Industry had already understood before the First World War how to make time-consuming bleaching a thing of the past by inventing laundry blue, a powder based on indigo.’
      • ‘This laundry starch company began producing laundry blue in 1852 by using a combination of a synthetic ultramarine and sodium bicarbonate.’
      • ‘In 1765, Whatman discovered a means of whitening paper by adding laundry blue to the typically yellowed paper pulp.’
      • ‘At the same time he discovered laundry blue.’
    4. 1.4the blueliterary The sky or sea, or the unknown.
      ‘far out upon the blue were many sails’
      • ‘On the opposite side of the reef we are looking into the blue for big critters when I look round to see a small turtle swim towards us.’
      • ‘Sitting on the cold soft sand on the deserted beach I stared out into the blue.’
      • ‘A single tiny cloud appeared above the ridge but soon dissolved into the blue.’
      • ‘Then his view through the window was suddenly rushing forward, directly into the blue.’
      • ‘Check your charts, your boat and supplies, then head out into the blue.’
  • 2usually with modifier A small butterfly, the male of which is predominantly blue while the female is typically brown.

    Numerous genera in the family Lycaenidae

    • ‘A cool day in midsummer is always a good day to watch blues taking shelter in the grass.’
    • ‘The male blues show much more interest in these yellow bushes.’
    • ‘As caterpillars, the blues are carefully cleaned and fed.’
    • ‘It was easy to get the species mixed up as the female blues that had orange spots on the upper hindwing (see the photograph on the right) were Chalkhill Blues.’
    • ‘But blues fascinate butterfly experts with their mind-boggling complexity.’
  • 3British A person who has represented Cambridge University (a Cambridge blue) or Oxford University (an Oxford blue) at a particular sport in a match between the two universities.

    ‘a flyweight boxing blue’
    • ‘An accomplished swimmer since his schooldays, David was a university blue in water polo and later served the sport in other capacities.’
    • ‘He was an Oxford Blue, a first-class cricketer and quite good at polo.’
    • ‘He could spring the surprise shock of the season by beating the blues at Stamford Bridge but you would need to believe in miracles as well as the tooth fairy for that!’
    • ‘He was an Oxford blue in hockey and a regular columnist on hockey in the London press.’
    • ‘At university he was a double blue in swimming and soccer.’
    1. 3.1 A distinction awarded to a Cambridge blue or an Oxford blue.
      ‘Adrian's brother won a rugby blue in December’
      • ‘He has a rugby blue, and he does not bother to list either distinction in his Who's Who entry because he also possesses the virtue of restraint.’
      • ‘He ended up with all sorts of blues when he went to university, different sports.’
      • ‘His main sport was the unglamorous pursuit of golf, for which he gained a blue at Oxford.’
      • ‘Drew was a sports enthusiast, earned a rugby blue at Cambridge, and played rugby for the England B team.’
      • ‘After winning a blue at Oxford University, he was signed by Premiership club Bath.’
  • 4Australian NZ informal An argument or fight.

    ‘did you have a blue or what?’
    • ‘She had a blue with her then boyfriend, fast bowler Mick.’
    • ‘I had a blue with a mate, ending the friendship.’
    • ‘He then joined the fracas, slipping in two or three good blows before the blue was broken up.’
    • ‘He told me that Crystal and himself had had a blue with a taxi driver as well, not as big a blue as I had with mine, but a blue all the same.’
    • ‘I can honestly say that I never started a blue, but my stupid pig-headed nature would not allow me to back down.’
  • 5Australian NZ informal A mistake.

    ‘his tactical blue in saying the opposition wasn't ready to govern’
    • ‘I used to be bemused how left wingers have an incapability to ever admit they made a blue.’
    • ‘I've made a bit of a blue with this Challenge!’
    • ‘Has Frank made a blue when compiling his stats?’
    • ‘‘We made a bit of a blue there,’ Anderton said.’
    • ‘What about a Prime Minister who calls them as he sees them and if he's made a blue just be man enough to come into the House of Representatives and say, ‘Look, a bit of a mistake here, here's correction of the parliamentary record.’’
  • 6Australian NZ informal A nickname for a red-headed person.

    ‘only an Aussie could make a red-headed man ‘Blue.’’
    • ‘The flight attendants crack jokes, the check-in staff actually smile and even the airline's name for its red-and-white planes is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Aussie habit of calling redheads "Blue''.’
    • ‘Hey red, in Australia we call redheads ‘blue’ or ‘bluey’.’
  • 7British informal A supporter of the Conservative Party.

    • ‘The Blues are also the largest party in Vale Royal where all the seats up for election and the count is on Friday.’
    • ‘Amid all the hysteria over ‘hug a hoodie’, he has been falling over himself to show how environmentally friendly he is, that the Blues are the Greenest party ever to exist.’

verbblues, blueing, bluing, blued

  • 1Make or become blue.

    with object ‘the light dims, bluing the retina’
    ‘blued paper’
    no object ‘the day would haze, the air bluing with afternoon’
    • ‘The sky was now bluing up as the time approached 4 PM.’
    • ‘The atmosphere in this video is darkened yet strangely luminous, the video palette seemingly blued and grayed.’
    • ‘I was up all night listening to music when a light blued the east, announcing the season of breakfast.’
    • ‘All there were were tiny wisps of clouds now and the whole area had blued out.’
    1. 1.1with object Heat (metal) so as to give it a greyish-blue finish.
      ‘nickel-plated or blued hooks’
      • ‘When welding the tool steel which firearms are made, the metal has to be protected from excessive heat, or hard spots will develop showing up as the dreaded plum-color when blued.’
      • ‘Weatherby barrels and actions were polished and blued to a glittering, mirror-bright finish.’
      • ‘Yes, it is a 16 penny nail that has been polished up a bit and blued.’
      • ‘In the past, a turkey hunter used his regular shotgun, which might have a blued or even a nickel-finished barrel and a glossy stock.’
      • ‘The gun was bead blasted around the top of the slide and bottom of the frame and the flats were given a nice, even polish before bluing.’
      • ‘The slide and its components are nicely polished and blued.’
      • ‘As a final touch to the metalwork, all exterior surfaces were detailed and polished by hand, preparatory to burnishing and bluing.’
      • ‘The entire pistol was then fine bead blasted and blued.’
      • ‘However, over the last two decades bluing and case coloring, as well as nickel plating, have improved significantly, resulting in a most attractive revolver.’
      • ‘Sight choices are the same as offered on the 1895, the dovetails for rear sight and magazine tube are filled, and the entire gun is then matte blued or matte hard chromed.’
      • ‘Yes, all the metal is well polished and deeply blued.’
      • ‘Eventually this sixgun will be totally refinished, in this case restored to its original appearance with case-hardened frame and hammer and the balance of the gun deeply blued.’
      • ‘All in all, it is an attractive rifle, with nicely blued metal contrasting with an attractive piece of walnut.’
      • ‘The barrels' subtle blue-grey colors result from charcoal bluing.’
      • ‘The hammer, trigger, and trigger guard are also blued to a mirror-like finish, and the sides of the frame sport a somewhat subdued finish, contrasting nicely with the rest of the gun.’
      • ‘The steel of the action and barrel is beautifully machined, polished and blued.’
      • ‘The barrels are nicely blued, and some small parts, like the lock bolts, were brilliantly heal blued for contrast.’
      • ‘Having owned several and examined many others I see no difference in terms of overall fit and finish, metal polishing and bluing, or action smoothness.’
      • ‘In actuality, those original pistols - while beautifully machined and blued - were basically military pistols, with gritty trigger pulls and average accuracy.’
      • ‘The bottom metal appears to be an investment casting, but it has good lines, is functional and nicely polished and blued like the rest of the metalwork on the gun.’
  • 2historical with object Wash (white clothes) with bluing.

    ‘they blued the shirts and starched the uniforms’
    • ‘Washing was a long involved process which started with making the soap using lye, lard and ashes, then scrubbing, boiling, rinsing and bluing the clothes in huge outdoor vats of water.’
    • ‘I rinsed and blued most of them.’
    • ‘A couple of wooden benches at the side of the house in the shade held 3 big galvanized iron tubs for washing, rinsing and bluing the clothes, and a tin dish for the starch.’
    • ‘She would blue the laundry / For the children.’
    • ‘I blued the laundry.’

Phrases

  • boys in blue

    • informal Policemen; the police.

      ‘two dozen boys in blue arrive in full riot gear’
      • ‘But four days after it was targeted by a till-snatcher, he is still waiting for the boys in blue to turn up.’
      • ‘Community policing by local officers got a boost this week when a rural Eden fire station opened its doors to the boys in blue.’
      • ‘But this has not stopped police chief and mayor alike from advocating lots of cameras for their boys in blue to fiddle with in the safety of remote locations.’
      • ‘They urge everyone to report incidents of drug offences or anti-social behaviour on the estate to the boys in blue.’
      • ‘Villagers are ready to step in to the boots of the boys in blue at a Bradford police station which was closed to the public for 30 years.’
      • ‘Catching criminals is the job of the boys in blue.’
      • ‘And in some circumstances, some people might argue that it might be a tad reckless to argue the toss with the boys in blue when they ask you for ID.’
      • ‘The feckless teenagers of Fraserburgh are to be rewarded by the boys in blue for their good grace in actually obeying the law of the land?’
      • ‘Hopefully the boys in blue and the plainclothes detectives will get things more under control.’
      • ‘Having experienced what life is like with the boys in blue, Councillor Ali will next be on ‘duty’ on 15 August when he joins a watch at Rochdale Fire Station.’
  • blue on blue

    • Denoting or relating to an attack made by one's own side that accidentally harms one's own forces.

      ‘blue-on-blue incidents’
      • ‘If I had been told on the day that Christopher died that it had been blue on blue, I could have coped with that, things do happen in war, mistakes are made, casualties, it happens.’
      • ‘We're pretty safe against blue on blue, friendly fire, because we usually have a tank in front of us and a Bradley armored vehicle in back of us.’
      • ‘Now though, blue on blue is just more military argot for killing men on your own side, or ‘friendly fire’, just as ‘wound response’ was Pentagon cant during the Vietnam War for a successful strike.’
      • ‘War is all about hurting people and breaking things, mistakes like blue on blue and civilian deaths happen.’
      • ‘The Air Force is basically saying what it is going to do in order to discharge its mission of controlling the high ground, and pointing out as it goes along that there may be implications, collateral damage and blue on blue incidents.’
  • bung (or stack) on a blue

    • informal Make a fuss or create a disturbance.

      ‘we're only reported if we bung on a blue’
      • ‘I promise you I'll never bung on a blue.’
      • ‘He will have two choices — to cop it sweet, or stack on a blue.’
      • ‘I'd half expected him to bung on a blue, but he didn't.’
      • ‘If he decides to stack on a blue over this, I'll be the first bloke out of the firing line.’
      • ‘“Next time, you think better than to bung on a blue with a Tejano, eh? Ain't nobody better with a gun." he said’
  • do something until (or till) one is blue in the face

    • informal Put all one's efforts into doing something to no avail.

      ‘she could talk to him until she was blue in the face, but he was just not hearing’
      • ‘Obviously, we could sit here and talk until we're blue in the face about how wonderfully they play the game.’
      • ‘I complained and complained and complained until I was blue in the face.’
      • ‘I searched every file I could till I was blue in the face, and got absolutely nowhere!’
      • ‘I could tell him till I was blue in the face that we had to leave, he does not understand, he is not from here.’
      • ‘I just sulked all the way home cussing and swearing till I was blue in the face.’
  • out of the blue

    • informal Without warning; unexpectedly.

      ‘she phoned me out of the blue’
      • ‘It's a bit worrying because this guy actually knows where I live and has dropped round out of the blue but not for a long time.’
      • ‘Philip's voice is completely casual, like he's just had this sudden thought out of the blue.’
      • ‘It always comes slamming down out of a clear blue sky, unplanned and unforeseen.’
      • ‘This came out of the blue, and we are most upset that a warning wasn't given.’
      • ‘Stephen phoned out of the blue, haven't spoken to him in over three months!’
      • ‘Then, last month, I got a phone call out of the blue from one of the photo managers at Head Office.’
      • ‘After six weeks the trail seemed to be going cold when a phone call came out of the blue.’
      • ‘Rarely does a profit warning come out of the blue like the subsequent share price reaction suggests.’
      • ‘As for how the opportunity was spotted, it was a complete bolt out of the blue.’
      • ‘Than he calls me up kind of out of the blue and it's just this weird, random kind of thing.’
      • ‘This hasn't been done out of the blue and they have been given every chance to stop doing it.’
      • ‘Now, out of the blue, my own bank, write to me to tell me that they may have inadvertently ripped me off.’
      • ‘His was a performance out of the blue but one that he certainly can repeat again as he grows in confidence.’
      • ‘The government's interest in sexual health has not come out of the blue.’
      • ‘Quite frankly, this piece of research is so unexpected, so out of the blue, it beggars belief.’
      • ‘He was working as a meat products salesman during the 1960s, when his chance to run the pub came out of the blue.’
      • ‘The yellow card came out of the blue and I do not believe there was any warning from the referee.’
      • ‘He called me yesterday, out of the blue, basically to offer me some work.’
      • ‘This particular warning came out of the blue and there must be a worry that there is yet more to come.’
      • ‘Because all of a sudden, almost out of the blue, the summer had ended and college was the immediate future.’
  • talk a blue streak

    • informal Speak continuously and at great length.

      • ‘She hadn't slept for three days, and talked a blue streak.’
      • ‘Thus he asks Rick-the-coward, who talks a blue streak about the dancing contest, the confrontation with the jocks, the pictures, and the confrontation with Hattie.’
      • ‘The Chorus leader and, of course, Electra talk a blue streak.’
      • ‘Unfortunately I know very little about them because I talked a blue streak from the moment they stepped in the door to the moment the door closed behind them when they left.’
      • ‘Reading it is like trying to keep up with a fast walker who is also talking a blue streak.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French bleu, ultimately of Germanic origin and related to Old English blǣwen ‘blue’ and Old Norse blár ‘dark blue’ (see also blaeberry).

Pronunciation

blue

/bluː/

Main definitions of blue in English

: blue1blue2

blue2

verbblues, blueing, bluing, blued

[with object]British
dated, informal
  • Squander or recklessly spend (money).

    • ‘It doesn't matter which sum you will transfer (1 $, 10$or 100$) because you don't blue your money, you save human life!’
    • ‘It is again time to break open a bottle of bubbly and to blue our money till kingdom comes.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: perhaps a variant of blow.

Pronunciation

blue

/bluː/