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blow1

[bloh]
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noun
  1. a sudden, hard stroke with a hand, fist, or weapon: a blow to the head.
  2. a sudden shock, calamity, reversal, etc.: His wife's death was a terrible blow to him.
  3. a sudden attack or drastic action: The invaders struck a blow to the south.
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Idioms
  1. at one blow, with a single act: He became wealthy and famous at one blow.Also at a blow.
  2. come to blows, to begin to fight, especially to engage in physical combat: They came to blows over the referee's ruling.
  3. strike a blow, to hit.
  4. strike a blow for, to further or advance the cause of: to strike a blow for civil rights.
  5. without striking a blow, without a battle or contest: The military coup was accomplished without striking a blow.
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Origin of blow1

1425–75; late Middle English blaw, northern form representing later blowe; akin to Old High German bliuwan, Gothic bliggwan to beat

Synonyms

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1. buffet, thump, thwack, rap, slap, cuff, box, beat, knock.

Synonym study

1, 2. Blow, stroke, hit, slap refer to a sudden or forceful impact, but differ in their literal and figurative uses. Blow emphasizes the violence of the impact and, figuratively, adverse fortune: a blow from a hammer; a blow to one's hopes. Stroke emphasizes movement as well as impact; it indicates precision or, figuratively, either good fortune or sudden or unexpected pain or misfortune: the stroke of a piston; a stroke of luck, of lightning; a paralytic stroke. Hit, in its current uses, emphasizes the successful result of a literal or figurative blow, impact, or impression, for example in baseball, social life, the theater: a two-base hit; to make a hit with someone; a smash hit. Slap, a blow with the open hand or with something flat, emphasizes the instrument with which the blow is delivered and, often, the resulting sound; figuratively, it connotes an unfriendly or sarcastic statement, action, or attitude: Her coldness was like a slap in the face; the slap of a beaver's tail on the water.

blow2

[bloh]
verb (used without object), blew, blown, blow·ing.
  1. (of the wind or air) to be in motion.
  2. to move along, carried by or as by the wind: Dust seemed to blow through every crack in the house.
  3. to produce or emit a current of air, as with the mouth or a bellows: Blow on your hands to warm them.
  4. (of a horn, trumpet, etc.) to give out sound.
  5. to make a blowing sound; whistle: The siren blew just as we rounded the corner.
  6. (of horses) to breathe hard or quickly; pant.
  7. Informal. to boast; brag: He kept blowing about his medals.
  8. Zoology. (of a whale) to spout.
  9. (of a fuse, light bulb, vacuum tube, tire, etc.) to burst, melt, stop functioning, or be destroyed by exploding, overloading, etc. (often followed by out): A fuse blew just as we sat down to dinner. The rear tire blew out.
  10. to burst from internal pressure: Poorly sealed cans will often blow.
  11. Slang. to leave; depart.
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verb (used with object), blew, blown, blow·ing.
  1. to drive by means of a current of air: A sudden breeze blew the smoke into the house.
  2. to spread or make widely known: Growing panic blew the rumor about.
  3. to drive a current of air upon.
  4. to clear or empty by forcing air through: Try blowing your nose.
  5. to shape (glass, smoke, etc.) with a current of air: to blow smoke rings.
  6. to cause to sound, as by a current of air: Blow your horn at the next crossing.
  7. Jazz. to play (a musical instrument of any kind).
  8. to cause to explode (often followed by up, to bits, etc.): A mine blew the ship to bits.
  9. to burst, melt, burn out, or destroy by exploding, overloading, etc. (often followed by out): to blow a tire; blow a fuse.
  10. to destroy; demolish (usually followed by down, over, etc.): The windstorm blew down his house.
  11. Informal.
    1. to spend money on.
    2. to squander; spend quickly: He blew a fortune on racing cars.
    3. to waste; lose: The team blew the lead by making a bad play.
  12. Informal. to mishandle, ruin, botch; make a mess of; bungle: With one stupid mistake he blew the whole project. It was your last chance and you blew it!
  13. Slang. to damn: Blow the cost!
  14. to put (a horse) out of breath by fatigue.
  15. Slang. to depart from: to blow town.
  16. Slang: Vulgar. to perform fellatio on.
  17. Slang. to smoke (marijuana or other drugs).
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noun
  1. a blast of air or wind: to clean machinery with a blow.
  2. Informal. a violent windstorm, gale, hurricane, or the like: one of the worst blows we ever had around here.
  3. an act of producing a blast of air, as in playing a wind instrument: a few discordant blows by the bugler.
  4. Metallurgy.
    1. a blast of air forced through a converter, as in the production of steel or copper.
    2. the stage of the production process during which this blast is used.
  5. Civil Engineering. boil1(def 12).
  6. Slang. cocaine.
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Verb Phrases
  1. blow away, Slang.
    1. to kill, especially by gunfire: The gang threatened to blow away anyone who talked to the police.
    2. to defeat decisively; trounce: She blew her opponent away in three straight sets.
    3. to overwhelm with emotion, astonishment, etc.: Good poetry just blows me away.
  2. blow down, Metallurgy. to suspend working of (a blast furnace) by smelting the existing charge with a diminishing blast.
  3. blow in,
    1. Slang.to arrive at a place, especially unexpectedly: My uncle just blew in from Sacramento.
    2. Metallurgy.to begin operations in (a blast furnace).
  4. blow off,
    1. to allow steam to be released.
    2. Informal.to reduce or release tension, as by loud talking.
    3. Informal.to ignore, evade, or treat as unimportant: I mentioned his insulting remark, and he just blew the whole thing off.
    4. Informal.to not go to or participate in: He blew off his first-period class three times that week.
    5. Informal.to fail to meet (someone) as planned without alerting the person beforehand: I waited 20 minutes before I realized my sister had blown me off.
    6. Informal.to end a romantic or other relationship with: He blew me off after our third date.
  5. blow out,
    1. to become extinguished: The candles blew out at once.
    2. to lose force or cease: The storm has blown itself out.
    3. (of an oil or gas well) to lose oil or gas uncontrollably.
    4. Metallurgy.to blow down and clean (a blast furnace) in order to shut down.
  6. blow over,
    1. to pass away; subside: The storm blew over in five minutes.
    2. to be forgotten: The scandal will eventually blow over.
  7. blow up,
    1. to come into being: A storm suddenly blew up.
    2. to explode: The ship blew up.
    3. to cause to explode: to blow up a bridge.
    4. to exaggerate; enlarge: He blew up his own role in his account of the project.
    5. Informal.to lose one's temper: When he heard she had quit school, he blew up.
    6. to fill with air; inflate: to blow up a tire.
    7. Photography.to make an enlarged reproduction of.
    8. Mathematics.(of a function) to become infinite.
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Idioms
  1. blow hot and cold, to favor something at first and reject it later on; waver; vacillate: His enthusiasm for the job blows hot and cold.
  2. blow off steam, Informal. steam(def 23).Also let off steam.
  3. blow one's cool, Slang. to lose one's composure; become angry, frantic, or flustered.
  4. blow one's cover. cover(def 52).
  5. blow one's lines, Theater. to forget or make an error in a speaking part or stage directions.
  6. blow one's mind. mind(def 36).
  7. blow one's stack. stack(def 23).
  8. blow one's top. top1(def 43).
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Origin of blow2

before 1000; Middle English blowen (v.), Old English blāwan; cognate with Latin flāre to blow

blow3

[bloh]
noun
  1. a yield or display of blossoms: the lilac's lavender blows.
  2. a display of anything bright or brilliant: a rich, full blow of color.
  3. state of blossoming; a flowering: a border of tulips in full blow.
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verb (used with or without object), blew, blown, blow·ing.
  1. Archaic. to blossom or cause to blossom.
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Origin of blow3

before 1000; Middle English blowen (v.), Old English blōwan; akin to German blühen to bloom, Latin flōs flower
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for blow

blow1

verb blows, blowing, blew or blown
  1. (of a current of air, the wind, etc) to be or cause to be in motion
  2. (intr) to move or be carried by or as if by wind or aira feather blew in through the window
  3. to expel (air, cigarette smoke, etc) through the mouth or nose
  4. to force or cause (air, dust, etc) to move (into, in, over, etc) by using an instrument or by expelling breath
  5. (intr) to breathe hard; pant
  6. (sometimes foll by up) to inflate with air or the breath
  7. (intr) (of wind, a storm, etc) to make a roaring or whistling sound
  8. to cause (a whistle, siren, etc) to sound by forcing air into it, as a signal, or (of a whistle, etc) to sound thus
  9. (tr) to force air from the lungs through (the nose) to clear out mucus or obstructing matter
  10. (often foll by up, down, in, etc) to explode, break, or disintegrate completelythe bridge blew down in the gale
  11. electronics to burn out (a fuse, valve, etc) because of excessive current or (of a fuse, valve, etc) to burn out
  12. blow a fuse slang to lose one's temper
  13. (intr) (of a whale) to spout water or air from the lungs
  14. (tr) to wind (a horse) by making it run excessively
  15. to cause (a wind instrument) to sound by forcing one's breath into the mouthpiece, or (of such an instrument) to sound in this way
  16. (intr) jazz slang to play in a jam session
  17. (intr) (of flies) to lay eggs (in)
  18. to shape (glass, ornaments, etc) by forcing air or gas through the material when molten
  19. (intr) mainly Scot, Australian and NZ to boast or brag
  20. (tr) slang
    1. to spend (money) freely
    2. USto treat or entertain
  21. (tr) slang to use (an opportunity) ineffectively
  22. slang to go suddenly away (from)
  23. (tr) slang to expose or betray (a person or thing meant to be kept secret)
  24. (tr) US slang to inhale (a drug)
  25. (intr) slang to masturbate
  26. past participle blowed informal another word for damn I'll be blowed; blow it!
  27. draughts another word for huff (def. 4)
  28. blow hot and cold to vacillate
  29. blow a kiss or blow kisses to kiss one's hand, then blow across it as if to carry the kiss through the air to another person
  30. blow one's own trumpet to boast of one's own skills or good qualities
  31. blow someone's mind slang
    1. (of a drug, esp LSD) to alter someone's mental state
    2. esp US and Canadianto astound or surprise someone
  32. blow one's top, esp US and Canadian blow one's stack or blow one's lid informal to lose one's temper
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noun
  1. the act or an instance of blowing
  2. the sound produced by blowing
  3. a blast of air or wind
  4. metallurgy
    1. a stage in the Bessemer process in which air is blasted upwards through molten pig iron
    2. the quantity of metal treated in a Bessemer converter
  5. mining
    1. a rush of air into a mine
    2. the collapse of a mine roof
  6. jazz slang a jam session
    1. British a slang name for cannabis (def. 2)
    2. US a slang name for cocaine
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Word Origin

Old English blāwan, related to Old Norse blǣr gust of wind, Old High German blāen, Latin flāre

blow2

noun
  1. a powerful or heavy stroke with the fist, a weapon, etc
  2. at one blow or at a blow by or with only one action; all at one time
  3. a sudden setback; unfortunate eventto come as a blow
  4. come to blows
    1. to fight
    2. to result in a fight
  5. an attacking actiona blow for freedom
  6. Australian and NZ a stroke of the shears in sheep-shearing
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Word Origin

C15: probably of Germanic origin; compare Old High German bliuwan to beat

blow3

verb blows, blowing, blew or blown
  1. (intr) (of a plant or flower) to blossom or open out
  2. (tr) to produce (flowers)
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noun
  1. a mass of blossoms
  2. the state or period of blossoming (esp in the phrase in full blow)
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Word Origin

Old English blōwan; related to Old Frisian blōia to bloom, Old High German bluoen, Latin flōs flower; see bloom 1
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 blow

v.1

"move air," Old English blawan "blow, breathe, make an air current; kindle; inflate; sound a wind instrument" (class VII strong verb; past tense bleow, past participle blawen), from Proto-Germanic *blæ-anan (cf. Old High German blaen, German blähen), from PIE *bhle- "to swell, blow up" (cf. Latin flare "to blow"), possibly identical with *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell" (see bole).

Meaning "to squander" (of money) is from 1874. Sense of "depart suddenly" is from 1902. Slang "do fellatio on" sense is from 1933, as blow (someone) off, originally among prostitutes (cf. blow job). This usage probably is not connected to the colloquial imprecation (1781, associated with sailors, e.g. Popeye's "well, blow me down!"), which has past participle blowed. Meaning "to spend (money) foolishly and all at once" is 1890s; that of "bungle an opportunity" is from 1943. To blow over "pass" is from 1610s, originally of storms. To blow (someone's) mind was in use by 1967; there is a song title "Blow Your Mind" released in a 1965 Mirawood recording by a group called The Gas Company.

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v.2

"to bloom, blossom" (intransitive), from Old English blowan "to flower, blossom, flourish," from Proto-Germanic *blæ- (cf. Old Saxon bloian, Old Frisian bloia, Middle Dutch and Dutch bloeien, Old High German bluoen, German blühen), from PIE *bhle-, extended form of *bhel- (2) "to blow, inflate, swell" (see bole). This word is the source of the blown in full-blown.

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n.1

"hard hit," mid-15c., blowe, from northern and East Midlands dialects, perhaps from Middle Dutch blouwen "to beat," a common Germanic word of unknown origin (cf. German bleuen, Gothic bliggwan "to strike"). Influenced in English by blow (v.1). In reference to descriptions or accounts, blow-by-blow is recorded from 1921, American English, originally of prize-fight broadcasts.

LIKE a hungry kitten loves its saucer of warm milk, so do radio fans joyfully listen to the blow-by-blow broadcast description of a boxing bout. ["The Wireless Age," December 1922]
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n.2

"a blowing, a blast," 1650s, from blow (v.1).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with blow

blow

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.