Definition of blue ribbon in English:

blue ribbon

(British blue riband)


  • 1A badge made of blue ribbon and given as first prize to the winner of a competition.

    • ‘To my delight I won a blue ribbon for my jam and curd, a red ribbon for my salsa and a white ribbon for my pickles.’
    • ‘Nine-year-old Davey had won and proudly wore a blue ribbon declaring him the winner pinned to his overalls.’
    • ‘The room was filled with innumerable awards, trophies, blue ribbons, award-winning essays and such.’
    • ‘Several won blue ribbons for excellence in our annual student art snow, and one was included in the annual Scholastic Art Award competition.’
    • ‘I may learn to ride like the wind, win blue ribbons at horse shows and finally earn the right to put a saddle under me.’
    • ‘My mother's fridge takes the blue ribbon, however, because on hers she displays what might possibly be the largest photo of me ever made.’
    • ‘It appears that the university's student awards office had been counting the blue ribbons won by each cow and pig as students with scholarships attending the university.’
    • ‘Most of these pictures, which won blue ribbons at the state fair, were portraits of the denizens of Hill 57.’
    • ‘Secondly, having the adults award blue ribbons encouraged them to look much harder at the artworks than in the past.’
    • ‘She has also won many gold and silver medals for gymnastics and many blue ribbons for equestrian.’
    • ‘Selecting roses which frequently appear on the competition trophy lists also increases ones chances of bringing home the blue ribbons.’
    • ‘You don't see professors handing out blue ribbons to MFAs every time they get subect-verb agreement right.’
    • ‘I like the tangible reward of a blue ribbon after I've subjected myself to the torture of riding without stirrups in an equitation class.’
    • ‘He raised chickens and turkeys for 4H, winning puffy blue ribbons for champion poultry two years running at the Colorado State Fair.’
    • ‘Breeders desperate to take home the blue ribbons have been known to change the size and shape of cow udders, in an attempt to catch the judges' eye.’
    • ‘I had a room full of blue ribbons and books, just like now.’
    • ‘They grow eight different kinds and have won blue ribbons from the Men's Garden Club of America.’
    • ‘Cohen shows clips of Nordic festivals where toddlers are paraded half-nude before panels of judges so that the best physical children can be singled out for blue ribbons.’
    • ‘R. won't tell me how to do that because it's my recipe and once, about a thousand years ago, I won a blue ribbon with it.’
    • ‘Have an adult tally up the votes and make sure your winner gets a blue ribbon!’
    1. 1.1(in the UK) a badge worn by members of the Order of the Garter.
      • ‘Charles II. introduced the blue riband.’
      • ‘Each knight, or lady, also receives the glittering Garter Star and a blue riband bearing a smaller badge called the Lesser George - most of which they keep at home.’
      • ‘The Lesser George is gold and is situated at the bottom of the blue riband, or sash, worn over the shoulder.’


North American
  • 1Of the highest quality; first-class.

    ‘blue-ribbon service’
    • ‘Fishing is pretty much limited to goldeye, sauger, and catfish, and in a state full of blue-ribbon trout streams, who cares for that?’
    • ‘It's a blue ribbon school in Detroit, the best in the city.’
    • ‘Fort Foote was among 263 public and private schools throughout the nation that was designated as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education for the 2000-01 school year.’
    • ‘If you're an advertiser, be assured your message is reaching the right target: blue-ribbon, solid-gold dealers.’
    • ‘There are blue-ribbon pies and bushels of apples and you can walk around and look at your fellow Americans perspiring in their shorts and T-shirts.’
    • ‘Instead of showcasing my bead proudly like I do my gourd drum (that sits radiantly in my office like a blue-ribbon pig at the 4H contest), I keep my little bead hidden away in my desk, under heaps and heaps of files and manila folders.’
    • ‘Hesiod brags of prizes won, the blue-ribbon poem of a pedigree at the county-fair, coarse-woven and straw-capped.’
    • ‘During the 1998-99 school year, the school achieved national recognition as a Blue Ribbon School.’
    • ‘Yes, he must have been the instructors’ prized, blue-ribbon pet.’
    • ‘You'll be hailed as the blue-ribbon bistro chef of the backcountry.’
    • ‘Between these continuing reports and word of her ballooning figure, I'm beginning to think we treat blue-ribbon cattle better than Hollywood actresses!’
    • ‘The team's plan to spice up their offense follows a blue-ribbon recipe: Have their newcomer run deep, deep, deep and make defenders chase him.’
    • ‘Photos of blue-ribbon steers decorate the ‘steakhouse,’ the location for the shabbily conventional retirement party.’
  • 2(of a jury or committee) carefully or specially selected.

    ‘the SEC's blue-ribbon committee on auditor independence’
    • ‘After organizing a blue-ribbon committee to protest the fraud and demand a recount, he held massive demonstrations throughout the city and went to court.’
    • ‘The new governor has convened a blue-ribbon panel to investigate prison abuse and has released more convicted murderers in his first five months than his predecessor did in his entire five years.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, we hear about low-level resignations, official investigations and proposals for blue-ribbon commissions.’
    • ‘On August 30, the blue-ribbon grand jury returned its first indictments - 545 indictments against 59 people were announced that day.’
    • ‘All this strengthens the case for an independent, blue-ribbon investigatory commission, as urged by the Senator.’
    • ‘The Alabama Legislature has created a blue-ribbon committee to study the state's health care ‘crisis.’’
    • ‘He did it most notably in 1996, when he chaired a blue-ribbon commission appointed by the Senate Finance Committee, which concluded that the consumer price index overstated inflation.’
    • ‘Like all blue-ribbon panels, the commission is an august body comprised almost entirely of government officials and industry representatives, all of whom take their work very seriously.’
    • ‘To buttress her case, she then cites ‘a blue-ribbon commission’ that recommended pay-for-performance for New York City public schools.’
    • ‘And that's why I think we really need pressure from the outside, which I think is the best argument, ultimately, for there to be one of these big, blue-ribbon commissions.’
    • ‘Educating the public went beyond service on blue-ribbon committees on the city's future.’
    • ‘They put together a blue-ribbon committee of advisers and actually let the advisers advise.’
    • ‘Then, they would impose a new economic system based on the recommendations of the commissioner's blue-ribbon panel on baseball economics.’
    • ‘He seems genuinely surprised, much after the fashion of people of goodwill who sit on government blue-ribbon commissions everywhere.’
    • ‘This involves a series of blue-ribbon panels compromising on asset allocation choices and then eliminating 90% of the stocks and bonds traded in the United States for one political reason or another.’
    • ‘Last year, Marshall appointed a blue-ribbon commission to advise her about the courts' management problems.’
    • ‘As the articles point out, two blue-ribbon commissions have separately come to the same conclusion: our oceans are in trouble and the time for action is now.’
    • ‘It has been a year, and despite all the big promises, the blue-ribbon commissions and the media hoopla, most states have not acted.’
    • ‘And now a lot of conservatives are coming forward and saying, we need a blue-ribbon commission.’
    • ‘The blue-ribbon committee charged with developing a new tax policy for the Internet crashed and burned last week.’


blue ribbon

/ˈˌblo͞o ˈˌribən/