blow

1
[ bloh ]
/ bloʊ /
|||

noun

a sudden, hard stroke with a hand, fist, or weapon: a blow to the head.
a sudden shock, calamity, reversal, etc.: His wife's death was a terrible blow to him.
a sudden attack or drastic action: The invaders struck a blow to the south.

Nearby words

  1. blouse,
  2. blouson,
  3. blousy,
  4. bloviate,
  5. bloviation,
  6. blow a fuse,
  7. blow away,
  8. blow by blow,
  9. blow down,
  10. blow fly

Idioms

Origin of blow

1
1425–75; late Middle English blaw, northern form representing later blowe; akin to Old High German bliuwan, Gothic bliggwan to beat

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.

Origin of blow

2
before 1000; Middle English blowen (v.), Old English blāwan; cognate with Latin flāre to blow

blow

3
[ bloh ]
/ bloʊ /

noun

a yield or display of blossoms: the lilac's lavender blows.
a display of anything bright or brilliant: a rich, full blow of color.
state of blossoming; a flowering: a border of tulips in full blow.

verb (used with or without object), blew, blown, blow·ing.

Archaic. to blossom or cause to blossom.

Origin of blow

3
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. 2019

Examples from the Web for blow


British Dictionary definitions for blow

blow

1
/ (bləʊ) /

verb blows, blowing, blew or blown

noun


Word Origin for blow

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

noun

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

Word Origin for blow

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

verb blows, blowing, blew or blown

(intr) (of a plant or flower) to blossom or open out
(tr) to produce (flowers)

noun

a mass of blossoms
the state or period of blossoming (esp in the phrase in full blow)

Word Origin for blow

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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with blow

blow

In addition to the idioms beginning with blow

  • blow a fuse
  • blow away
  • blow by blow
  • blow hot and cold
  • blow in
  • blow it
  • blow off
  • blow off steam
  • blow one's brains out
  • blow one's cool
  • blow one's cover
  • blow one's mind
  • blow one's own horn
  • blow one's top
  • blow out
  • blow over
  • blow sky-high
  • blow someone to
  • blow the lid off
  • blow the whistle on
  • blow up

also see:

  • at one stroke (blow)
  • body blow
  • come to blows
  • keep (blow) one's cool
  • low blow
  • way the wind blows
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.