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  1. causing a blister or blisters.
  2. (especially of sunlight, heat, etc.) very severe or intense.
  3. very fast or rapid: a blistering pace.
  1. the act or an instance of forming a blister or blisters.
  2. a series or group of blisters, as on a painted surface.

Origin of blistering

First recorded in 1555–65; blister + -ing2
Related formsblis·ter·ing·ly, adverb


  1. a thin vesicle on the skin, containing watery matter or serum, as from a burn or other injury.
  2. any similar swelling, as an air bubble in a coat of paint.
  3. a relatively large bubble occurring in glass during blowing.
  4. Military. a transparent bulge or dome on the fuselage of an airplane, usually for mounting a gun.
  5. Photography. a bubble of air formed where the emulsion has separated from the base of a film, as because of defective processing.
  6. a dome or skylight on a building.
  7. the moving bubble in a spirit level.
  8. a small blisterlike covering of plastic, usually affixed to a piece of cardboard and containing a small item, as a pen, bolt, or medicinal tablet.
verb (used with object)
  1. to raise a blister or blisters on: These new shoes blistered my feet.
  2. to criticize or rebuke severely: The boss blistered his assistant in front of the whole office.
  3. to beat or thrash; punish severely.
verb (used without object)
  1. to form or rise as a blister or blisters; become blistered.

Origin of blister

1250–1300; Middle English blister, blester < Old Norse blǣstri, dative of blāstr swelling. See blast, blow2
Related formsre·blis·ter, verbun·blis·tered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for blistering

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Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for blistering


  1. (of weather) extremely hot
  2. (of criticism) extremely harsh
Derived Formsblisteringly, adverb


  1. a small bubble-like elevation of the skin filled with serum, produced as a reaction to a burn, mechanical irritation, etc
  2. a swelling containing air or liquid, as on a painted surface
  3. a transparent dome or any bulge on the fuselage of an aircraft, such as one used for observation
  4. slang an irritating person
  5. NZ slang a rebuke
  1. to have or cause to have blisters
  2. (tr) to attack verbally with great scorn or sarcasm
Derived Formsblistered, adjectiveblistery, adjective

Word Origin

C13: from Old French blestre, probably from Middle Dutch bluyster blister; see blast
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for blistering



c.1300, perhaps via Old French blestre "blister, lump, bump," from a Scandinavian source (cf. Old Norse blastr "a blowing," dative blæstri "swelling"), or from Middle Dutch blyster "swelling;" perhaps from PIE *bhlei- "to blow, swell," extension of root *bhel- (2) "to blow, inflate, swell;" see bole.



"to become covered in blisters," late 15c.; "to raise blisters on," 1540s, from blister (n.). Related: Blistered; blistering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

blistering in Medicine


  1. vesiculation


  1. A local swelling of the skin that contains watery fluid and is caused by burning, infection, or irritation.