[bloo-pen-suh l]

verb (used with object), blue-pen·ciled, blue-pen·cil·ing or (especially British) blue-pen·cilled, blue-pen·cil·ling.

to alter, abridge, or cancel with or as with a pencil that has blue lead, as in editing a manuscript.

Origin of blue-pencil

First recorded in 1885–90 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for blue-pencil

Historical Examples of blue-pencil

  • I never do, and Harmer has to blue-pencil my copy mercilessly.

  • When he begins to blue-pencil that pay-roll, some one is going to be hungry.

    The Modern Railroad

    Edward Hungerford

  • Good and true writing no magazine or newspaper editor will blue-pencil.

    The Last Harvest

    John Burroughs

  • He handed a map, with red-pencil and blue-pencil markings, along to von Schlichten.

    Uller Uprising

    Henry Beam Piper, John D. Clark and John F. Carr

  • He used the editorial "blue-pencil" for alteration and condensation with the hand of a master.

    The Great God Success

    John Graham (David Graham Phillips)