Various shades of 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; or any colour resembling this.
  • Anything coloured blue, especially to distinguish it from similar objects differing only in color.
  • A blue dye or pigment.
  • Blue clothing.
  • The sky, literally or figuratively.
  • The ocean; deep waters.
  • The far distance; a remote or distant place.
  • A dog or cat with a slaty gray coat.
  • One of the colour balls used in snooker, with a value of five points.
  • Any of the butterflies of the subfamily Polyommatinae (family) in the family Lycaenidae, most of which have blue on their wings.
  • A bluefish.
  • An argument.
  • A liquid with an intense blue colour, added to a laundry wash to prevent yellowing of white clothes.
  • Any of several processes to protect metal against rust.
  • A type of firecracker.
  • One of the three color charges for quarks.
  • A member or supporter of the Conservative Party.


  • To make or become blue.
  • To treat the surface of steel so that it is passivated chemically and becomes more resistant to rust.
  • To brighten by treating with blue (laundry aid)
  • To spend (money) extravagantly; to blow.


Similar words

Opposite words


  • From Middle English blewe, from Anglo-Norman blew ("blue"), from Frankish *blāu (perhaps through a Medieval Latin blāvus, blāvius), from Proto-Germanic *blēwaz ("blue, dark blue"), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰlēw- ("yellow, blond, grey"). Cognate with dialectal English blow, Scots blue, blew, North Frisian bla, blö, 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"). Doublet of blae.
  • The sense "obscene, pornographic" is apparently from the colour; various theories exist as to how it arose, including that it is from the colour of the envelopes used to contain missives of the censors and managers to vaudevillian performers on objectionable material from their acts that needed to be excised.
  • Etymology uncertain; possibly from blew (past tense of blow).

Modern English dictionary

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