AskDefine | Define blue

Dictionary Definition

blue adj
1 having a color similar to that of a clear unclouded sky; "October's bright blue weather"- Helen Hunt Jackson; "a blue flame"; "blue haze of tobacco smoke" [syn: bluish, blueish, light-blue, dark-blue, blue-black]
2 used to signify the Union forces in the Civil War (who wore blue uniforms); "a ragged blue line"
3 low in spirits; "lonely and blue in a strange city"; "depressed by the loss of his job"; "a dispirited and resigned expression on her face"; "downcast after his defeat"; "feeling discouraged and downhearted" [syn: depressed, dispirited, down(p), downcast, downhearted, down in the mouth, low, low-spirited]
4 characterized by profanity or cursing; "foul-mouthed and blasphemous"; "blue language"; "profane words" [syn: blasphemous, profane]
5 suggestive of sexual impropriety; "a blue movie"; "blue jokes"; "he skips asterisks and gives you the gamy details"; "a juicy scandal"; "a naughty wink"; "naughty words"; "racy anecdotes"; "a risque story"; "spicy gossip" [syn: gamy, gamey, juicy, naughty, racy, risque, spicy]
6 belonging to or characteristic of the nobility or aristocracy; "an aristocratic family"; "aristocratic Bostonians"; "aristocratic government"; "a blue family"; "blue blood"; "the blue-blooded aristocracy"; "of gentle blood"; "patrician landholders of the American South"; "aristocratic bearing"; "aristocratic features"; "patrician tastes" [syn: aristocratic, aristocratical, blue-blooded, gentle, patrician]
7 morally rigorous and strict; "blue laws"; "the puritan work ethic"; "puritanic distaste for alcohol"; "she was anything but puritanical in her behavior" [syn: blue(a), puritan, puritanic, puritanical]
8 causing dejection; "a blue day"; "the dark days of the war"; "a week of rainy depressing weather"; "a disconsolate winter landscape"; "the first dismal dispiriting days of November"; "a dark gloomy day"; "grim rainy weather" [syn: dark, depressing, disconsolate, dismal, dispiriting, gloomy, grim]


1 the color of the clear sky in the daytime; "he had eyes of bright blue" [syn: blueness]
2 blue clothing; "she was wearing blue"
3 any organization or party whose uniforms or badges are blue; "the Union army was a vast blue"
4 the sky as viewed during daylight; "he shot an arrow into the blue" [syn: blue sky, blue air, wild blue yonder]
5 used to whiten laundry or hair or give it a bluish tinge [syn: bluing, blueing]
6 the sodium salt of amobarbital that is used as a barbiturate; used as a sedative and a hypnotic [syn: amobarbital sodium, blue angel, blue devil, Amytal]
7 any of numerous small chiefly blue butterflies of the family Lycaenidae v : turn blue [also: bluest, bluer]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /bluː/
  • /blu:/
  • Rhymes: -uː



From Old French bleu, from Germanic *blewaz, from PIE *bhle-wo- (a suffixed form of *bhel-, 'to shine').


  1. Having a color shade close to blue.
  2. Depressed, melancholic, sad.
    The phrase "feeling blue" was coined from a custom among old deepwater ships to fly blue flags or have a blue band painted along the hull if the vessel lost a captain or officers during a voyage.
  3. In the context of "entertainment|informal": Pornographic.
  4. Used of states or other political entities tending to vote for the Democratic Party.
    Many of the traditionally 'blue states are on the east and west coasts.
    Congress turned 'blue in the mid-term elections.
  5. Of the higher-frequency region of the part of the electromagnetic spectrum which is relevant in the specific observation.




  1. colorbox blue 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.
  2. In the context of "snooker": One of the colour balls used in snooker with a value of 5 points.
  3. Argument in colloquial Australian.




  1. To make blue.
  2. In the context of "Metallurgy": To treat the surface of steel so that it is passivated chemically and becomes more resistant to rust.
    See Wikipedia article on bluing steel:
  3. To turn blue.


to make blue
to passivate steel
to turn blue
Translations to be checked

Related terms

See also

Extensive Definition

Blue is a colour, the perception of which is evoked by light having a spectrum dominated by energy with a wavelength of roughly 440–490 nm. It is considered one of the additive primary colours. On the HSV Colour Wheel, the complement of blue is yellow; that is, a colour corresponding to an equal mixture of red and green light. On a colour wheel based on traditional colour theory (RYB), the complementary colour to blue is considered to be orange (based on the Munsell colour wheel).
The English language commonly uses "blue" to refer to any colour from navy blue to cyan. The word itself is derived from the Old French word bleu.

Etymology and definitions

The modern English word blue comes from the Middle English, bleu or blwe, which came from an Old French word bleu of Germanic origin (Frankish or possibly Old High German blao, "shining"). Bleu replaced Old English blaw. The root of these variations was the Proto-Germanic blæwaz, which was also the root of the Old Norse word bla and the modern Icelandic blár, and the Scandinavian word blå, but it can refer to other colours. A Scots and Scottish English word for "blue-grey" is blae, from the Middle English bla ("dark blue," from the Old English blæd). Ancient Greek lacked a word for colour blue and Homer called the colour of the sea "wine dark", except that the word kyanos was used for dark blue enamel.
As a curiosity, blue is thought to be cognate with blond and black through the Germanic word. Through a Proto-Indo-European root, it is also linked with Latin flavus ("yellow"; see flavescent and flavine), with Greek phalos (white), French blanc (white) (loaned from Old Frankish), and with Russian белый, belyi ("white," see beluga), and Welsh blawr (grey) all of which derive (according to the American Heritage Dictionary) from the Proto-Indo-European root *bhel- meaning "to shine, flash or burn", (more specifically the word bhle-was, which meant light coloured, blue, blond, or yellow), whence came the names of various bright colours, and that of colour black from a derivation meaning "burnt" (other words derived from the root bhel- include bleach, bleak, blind, blink, blank, blush, blaze, flame, fulminate, flagrant and phlegm).
In the English language, blue may refer to the feeling of sadness. "He was feeling blue". This is because blue was related to rain, or storms, and in Greek mythology, the god Zeus would make rain when he was sad (crying), and a storm when he was angry. Kyanos was a name used in Ancient Greek to refer to dark blue tile (in English it means blue-green).
Many languages do not have separate terms for blue and or green, instead using a cover term for both (when the issue is discussed in linguistics, this cover term is sometimes called grue in English). Blue is commonly used on internet browsers to colour a link that has not been clicked; when a link has been clicked it changes yellow or orange or purple.

In science


Traditionally, blue has been considered a primary colour in painting, with the secondary colour orange as its complement.
Blue pigments include azurite, ultramarine, cerulean blue, cobalt blue, and Prussian blue (milori blue).

Scientific natural standards for blue

  • Emission spectrum of Cu2+
  • Electronic spectrum of aqua-ions Cu(H2O)52+


  • When an animal's coat is described as "blue", it refers to a shade of grey that takes on a bluish tint, a diluted variant of a pure black coat. This designation is used for a variety of animals, including dog coats, some rat coats, cat coats, some chicken breeds, and some horse coat colours.

Blue in human culture


  • Blue often represents the human emotion of sadness, e.g. "He was feeling blue".


  • The blues is a style of music originated by African Americans. Contrary to popular belief it is not called Blues because its lyrics are depressing but because its scale is inclusive of the "dark notes" or blue notes.
  • In 1999 Eiffel 65 released the song "Blue (Da Ba Dee)," a hugely popular Eurodance song which peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, and reached #1 in 17 countries.
  • Blue is also the name of an English pop boy band consisting of four members: Lee Ryan, Duncan James, Antony Costa, and Simon Webbe.

National colours



  • Blue has been associated with a variety of political positions, often differentiated from communist red or anarchist black. During the revolt in the Vendée against the French revolution, blues stood for the revolutionary forces, and white for the counter-revolutionaries. Later movements like the Breton blues used the colour to signify allegiance to the ideals of the revolution.


  • Blue in Judaism: In the Torah, the Israelites were commanded to put fringes, tzitzit, on the corners of their garments, and to weave within these fringes a "twisted thread of blue (tekhelet)". In ancient days, this blue thread was made from a dye extracted from a Mediterranean snail called the hilazon. Maimonides claimed that this blue was the colour of “the clear noonday sky”; Rashi, the colour of the evening sky. According to several rabbinic sages, blue is the colour of God’s Glory. Staring at this colour aids in mediation, bringing us a glimpse of the “pavement of sapphire, like the very sky for purity”, which is a likeness of the Throne of God. (The Hebrew word for glory.) Many items in the Mishkan, the portable sanctuary in the wilderness, such as the menorah, many of the vessels, and the Ark of the Covenant, were covered with blue cloth when transported from place to place.


  • In Thailand, blue is associated with Friday on the Thai solar calendar. Anyone may wear blue on Fridays and anyone born on a Friday may adopt blue as their colour. The Thai language, however, is one that has had trouble distinguishing blue from green. The default word for Blue was recently สีน้ำเงิน literally, the colour of silver, a poetical reference to the silvery sheen of the deep blue sea. It now means Navy Blue, and the default word is now สีฟ้า literally, the colour of the sky.
They took the blue from the skies And the pretty girls' eyes And a touch of Old Glory too; And gave it to the men who proudly wear the U. S. Air Force Blue!


External links

web colors colour
blue in Afrikaans: Blou (kleur)
blue in Arabic: أزرق
blue in Aragonese: Azul
blue in Official Aramaic (700-300 BCE): ܙܪܩܐ
blue in Asturian: Azul
blue in Guarani: Hovy
blue in Aymara: Larama
blue in Azerbaijani: Mavi
blue in Min Nan: Nâ-sek
blue in Banyumasan: Biru
blue in Bosnian: Plava
blue in Bulgarian: Син цвят
blue in Catalan: Blau
blue in Czech: Modrá
blue in Welsh: Glas
blue in Danish: Blå
blue in Pennsylvania German: Bloh
blue in German: Blau
blue in Estonian: Sinine
blue in Modern Greek (1453-): Μπλε
blue in Erzya: Сэнь
blue in Spanish: Azul
blue in Esperanto: Blua
blue in Basque: Urdin
blue in Persian: آبی
blue in French: Bleu
blue in Irish: Gorm
blue in Gan Chinese: 藍
blue in Galician: Azul
blue in Korean: 파랑
blue in Hindi: नीला
blue in Croatian: Plava
blue in Indonesian: Biru
blue in Icelandic: Blár
blue in Italian: Blu
blue in Hebrew: כחול
blue in Javanese: Biru
blue in Pampanga: Iro
blue in Haitian: Ble (koulè)
blue in Kurdish: Şîn
blue in Latin: Caeruleus
blue in Luxembourgish: Blo
blue in Lithuanian: Mėlyna
blue in Lingala: Bozinga
blue in Hungarian: Kék
blue in Maltese: Ikħal
blue in Malay (macrolanguage): Biru
blue in Dutch: Blauw
blue in Japanese: 青
blue in Chechen: Сийна
blue in Norwegian: Blå
blue in Norwegian Nynorsk: Blå
blue in Narom: Bliu
blue in Low German: Blau
blue in Polish: Barwa niebieska
blue in Portuguese: Azul
blue in Romanian: Albastru
blue in Quechua: Anqas
blue in Russian: Синий цвет
blue in Sanskrit: नील
blue in Scots: Blue
blue in Simple English: Blue
blue in Slovak: Modrá
blue in Slovenian: Modra
blue in Serbian: Плава боја
blue in Serbo-Croatian: Plavo
blue in Finnish: Sininen
blue in Swedish: Blå
blue in Tagalog: Asul
blue in Tamil: நீலம்
blue in Telugu: నీలము
blue in Thai: สีน้ำเงิน
blue in Vietnamese: Xanh lam
blue in Tajik: Кабуд
blue in Turkish: Mavi
blue in Ukrainian: Синій колір
blue in Urdu: نیلا
blue in Wolof: Baxa
blue in Yiddish: בלוי
blue in Contenese: 藍
blue in Chinese: 藍色

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Alice blue, Amytal, Amytal pill, Brunswick blue, Caelus, Capri blue, Chinese blue, Copenhagen blue, Demerol, Dolophine, Dresden blue, Fescennine, French blue, Gobelin blue, H, Luminal, Luminal pill, M, Mickey Finn, Nembutal, Nembutal pill, Persian blue, Pompeian blue, Prussian blue, Rabelaisian, Saxe blue, Seconal, Seconal pill, Tuinal, Tuinal pill, Wedgwood blue, X, absolute, air, alcohol, amobarbital sodium, analgesic, aniline blue, anodyne, aquamarine, atrabiliar, atrabilious, azo blue, azulene, azure, azure-blue, azure-colored, azurean, azured, azureness, azureous, azurite blue, baby blue, bad, barb, barbiturate, barbiturate pill, bawdy, benzoazurine, beryl, beryl-blue, berylline, bice, black, black stuff, bleu celeste, blue angel, blue devil, blue heaven, blue sky, blue turquoise, blue velvet, blueness, blueprint, bluish, bluishness, brine, briny, broad, cadaverous, cadet blue, caelum, calamine blue, calmative, canopy, canopy of heaven, cerulean, ceruleous, cerulescent, chloral hydrate, ciba blue, coarse, cobalt, codeine, codeine cough syrup, cold-type proof, color proof, complete, computer proof, cope, cornflower, corpselike, crestfallen, cyan, cyanean, cyanine blue, cyanosis, dark-blue, deadly, deathlike, deathly, deathly pale, deep, deep-blue, dejected, delft blue, depressant, depressed, depressor, despondent, dirty, disconsolate, dismal, dispirited, dolly, down, downcast, downer, downhearted, downright, drink, eerie, empyrean, erotic, ether, filthy, firmament, foul, foul-mouthed, foul-spoken, foul-tongued, foundry proof, fulsome, funky, galley, galley proof, garter blue, ghastly, ghostlike, ghostly, glaucous blue, gloomy, glum, goofball, grisly, gruesome, haggard, hard stuff, heaven, heavens, heroin, hop, horse, hyacinth, hyaline, hypnotic, improper, impure, indecent, indelicate, indigo, indigo white, infernal, isamine blue, ithyphallic, jouvence blue, junk, knockout drops, lapis lazuli blue, laudanum, lavender blue, lewd, lift, lifts, light-blue, lightish-blue, liquor, livid, lividity, lividness, lotus, low, low-spirited, lurid, macabre, madder blue, main, marine blue, melancholic, melancholy, meperidine, methadone, methylene azure, methylene blue, morose, morphia, morphine, mortuary, narcotic, nasty, navy, navy blue, new blue, obscene, off color, off-color, offensive, old blue, opiate, opium, out-and-out, pacifier, page proof, pain killer, pale, paregoric, pavonian, pavonine, peacock blue, peacock-blue, pen yan, pensive, perfect, phenobarbital, phenobarbital sodium, plate proof, pompadour green, pornographic, positive, powder blue, press proof, progressive proof, proof, proof sheet, pull, purple, purple heart, quietener, racy, rainbow, raunchy, red, regular, repro proof, revise, ribald, risque, sad, salacious, salty, sapphire, sapphirine, scag, scurrile, scurrilous, sea, sea blue, secobarbital sodium, sedative, sexy, shady, shit, sky, sky blue, sky-blue, sky-colored, sky-dyed, sleep-inducer, sleeper, sleeping draught, sleeping pill, slip, smack, smalt, smoke blue, smoking-room, smutty, sodium thiopental, somnifacient, soother, soothing syrup, soporific, spicy, starry heaven, steel blue, stone proof, suggestive, sultry, tar, the blue, the blue serene, titillating, tranquilizer, trial impression, tristful, trypan blue, turps, turquoise, ultramarine, uncanny, unchaste, unclean, unearthly, unhappy, unprintable, unrepeatable, vandyke, vault, vault of heaven, vile, vulgar, wan, weird, welkin, white stuff, wicked, wistful, woad, woebegone, yellow, yellow jacket, zaffer
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1