Definition of black and blue in US English:

black and blue


  • 1Discolored by bruising.

    ‘a black-and-blue mark on his arm’
    • ‘‘I have had so many blood tests that my arms are black and blue, but I'm still waiting for my operation,’ she said.’
    • ‘The operation itself was very painful and my legs were black and blue all over for about three weeks.’
    • ‘There was already a black and blue bruise starting under his left eye and he was bleeding from his mouth.’
    • ‘My elbows were black and blue from where I had been digging them into the witness box.’
    • ‘She was gingerly fingering the black and blue bruise under her eye that showed up as a shadow in spite of the diligent make up.’
    • ‘Adam would have smiled at the compliment but the black and blue discolorations on his cheeks halted him from doing so.’
    • ‘‘I got fouled definitely, and my legs are black and blue to prove it,’ he said.’
    • ‘Her face and hands and any other skin that was visible was black and blue with bruises.’
    • ‘Both of my knees were black and blue and it was very painful to climb the steps.’
    • ‘She moved her shirt down even more, exposing the bandages that still did not cover several patches of black and blue welts of skin.’
    1. 1.1 (of a person) covered in bruises.
      ‘they were both black and blue the day after the accident’
      • ‘An 80-year-old woman has been left black and blue after crashing to the ground four times on pavements near her home.’
      • ‘He said: ‘A young girl was subjected to a prolonged beating until she was literally black and blue.’’
      • ‘‘He is black and blue and bruised all over from bails bouncing off every part of his body,’ a friend once remarked.’
      • ‘She suffered a badly cut leg and was black and blue with bruising.’
      • ‘So anyway, he was black and blue too, but his injury was all covered by hair.’
      • ‘True, I had been black and blue from the beating he had given me, and he had nearly drowned me, but what I had done was no better.’
      • ‘‘I am black and blue and it is still very painful when I move,’ she said.’
      • ‘I am black and blue, scraped up, swollen and covered in bug bites.’
      • ‘It's been a really long time since I snowboarded, and even at my best I was totally black and blue from crashing so often, but miraculously I am pretty good at it this time.’
      • ‘Physically it had torn her up, broken her, left her with bruises with weeks, everywhere, black and blue.’
      purplish, bluish, dark, discoloured, purple, greyish-blue
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