[ blis-ter ]
See synonyms for blister on
  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.

  1. a relatively large bubble occurring in glass during blowing.

  2. Military. a transparent bulge or dome on the fuselage of an airplane, usually for mounting a gun.

  3. Photography. a bubble of air formed where the emulsion has separated from the base of a film, as because of defective processing.

  4. a dome or skylight on a building.

  5. the moving bubble in a spirit level.

  6. 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.

  1. 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

Other words from blister

  • re·blis·ter, verb
  • un·blis·tered, adjective

Words Nearby blister Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use blister in a sentence

  • The blister, if larger than a half dollar, should be opened near the edge with a needle which has been passed through a flame.

    The Mother and Her Child | William S. Sadler
  • The burns which destroy the outer layer of the skin, producing a blister, are treated much as a wound would be treated.

    The Mother and Her Child | William S. Sadler
  • For this I've wrought until my weary tongue, blister'd with incantation, flags in speech, And half declines its office.

British Dictionary definitions for blister


/ (ˈblɪstə) /

  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

  1. a transparent dome or any bulge on the fuselage of an aircraft, such as one used for observation

  2. slang an irritating person

  3. NZ slang a rebuke

  1. to have or cause to have blisters

  2. (tr) to attack verbally with great scorn or sarcasm

Origin of blister

C13: from Old French blestre, probably from Middle Dutch bluyster blister; see blast

Derived forms of blister

  • blistered, adjective
  • blistery, adjective

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