1. a bright flame or fire: the welcome blaze of the hearth.
  2. a bright, hot gleam or glow: the blaze of day.
  3. a sparkling brightness: a blaze of jewels.
  4. a sudden, intense outburst, as of fire, passion, or fury: to unleash a blaze of pent-up emotions; a blaze of glory.
  5. blazes, Informal. hell: Go to blazes!
verb (used without object), blazed, blaz·ing.
  1. to burn brightly (sometimes followed by away, up, forth): The bonfire blazed away for hours. The dry wood blazed up at the touch of a match.
  2. to shine like flame (sometimes followed by forth): Their faces blazed with enthusiasm.
  3. to burn with intense feeling or passion (sometimes followed by up): He blazed up at the insult.
  4. to shoot steadily or continuously (usually followed by away): The contestants blazed away at the clay pigeons.
  5. to be brilliantly conspicuous.

Origin of blaze

before 1000; Middle English, Old English blase torch, flame; cognate with Middle High German blas torch

Synonyms for blaze

1. See flame.


  1. a spot or mark made on a tree, as by painting or notching or by chipping away a piece of the bark, to indicate a trail or boundary.
  2. a white area down the center of the face of a horse, cow, etc.
verb (used with object), blazed, blaz·ing.
  1. to mark with blazes: to blaze a trail.
  2. to lead in forming or finding (a new method, course, etc.): His research in rocketry blazed the way for space travel.

Origin of blaze

1655–65; akin to Old Norse blesi, Dutch bles, German Blässe white mark on a beast's face, and to German blass pale


verb (used with object), blazed, blaz·ing.
  1. to make known; proclaim; publish: Headlines blazed the shocking news.
  2. Obsolete. to blow, as from a trumpet.

Origin of blaze

1350–1400; Middle English blasen < Middle Dutch; cognate with Old Norse blāsa to blow. See blast Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for blazes

Contemporary Examples of blazes

Historical Examples of blazes

  • Darnation take it, what in blazes are you shouting around for at this hour of the night?

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • Gawd love you, guv'nor, they'd fight 'ell's blazes, them chaps would!

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

  • Had he brought us the lowest of the low, I should merely have said: 'Marry her and go to blazes!'


    Emile Zola

  • But this one explains things, this one has logic, this one blazes a trail!

    The Treasure Trail

    Marah Ellis Ryan

  • "Go to blazes," said the match, as it dropped in and fired both up.

    The New Pun Book

    Thomas A. Brown and Thomas Joseph Carey

British Dictionary definitions for blazes


pl n
  1. slang a euphemistic word for hell
  2. informal (intensifier)to run like blazes; what the blazes are you doing?
  3. go to blazes! slang go to hell!


  1. a strong fire or flame
  2. a very bright light or glare
  3. an outburst (of passion, acclaim, patriotism, etc)
  4. brilliance; brightness
verb (intr)
  1. to burn fiercely
  2. to shine brightly
  3. (often foll by up) to become stirred, as with anger or excitement
  4. (usually foll by away) to shoot continuously
See also blazes

Word Origin for blaze

Old English blæse


  1. a mark, usually indicating a path, made on a tree, esp by chipping off the bark
  2. a light-coloured marking on the face of a domestic animal, esp a horse
verb (tr)
  1. to indicate or mark (a tree, path, etc) with a blaze
  2. blaze a trail to explore new territories, areas of knowledge, etc, in such a way that others can follow

Word Origin for blaze

C17: probably from Middle Low German bles white marking; compare blemish


  1. (tr often foll by abroad) to make widely known; proclaim

Word Origin for blaze

C14: from Middle Dutch blāsen, from Old High German blāsan; related to Old Norse blāsa
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 blazes

euphemism for "Hell," 1818, plural of blaze (n.1).



"bright flame, fire," Old English blæse "a torch, flame, firebrand, lamp," from Proto-Germanic *blas- "shining, white" (cf. Old Saxon blas "white, whitish," Middle High German blas "bald," originally "white, shining," Old High German blas-ros "horse with a white spot," Middle Dutch and Dutch bles, German Blesse "white spot," blass "pale, whitish"), from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn" (see bleach (v.)).



"light-colored mark or spot," 1630s, northern English dialect, probably from Old Norse blesi "white spot on a horse's face" (from the same root as blaze (n.1)). A Low German cognate of the Norse word also has been suggested as the source. Applied 1660s in American English to marks cut on tree trunks to indicate a track; thus the verb meaning "to mark a trail;" first recorded 1750, American English. Related: Blazed; blazing.



"make public" (often in a bad sense, boastfully), late 14c., perhaps from Middle Dutch blasen "to blow" (on a trumpet), from Proto-Germanic *blaes-an (cf. German blasen, Gothic -blesan), from PIE *bhle-, variant of root *bhel- (2) "to blow, inflate, swell" (see bole).



"to burn brightly or vigorously," c.1200, from blaze (n.1). Related: Blazed; blazing.



"to mark" (a tree, a trail), 1750, American English; see blaze (n.2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with blazes


In addition to the idiom beginning with blaze

  • blaze a trail

also see:

  • hot as blazes
  • like greased lightning (blazes)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.