[bloo-rib-uh n]


of superior quality or prominence; first-rate; specially selected: a blue-ribbon committee of fund-raisers.

Origin of blue-ribbon

First recorded in 1925–30; adj. use of blue ribbon

blue ribbon


the highest award or distinction, as the first prize in a contest: His entry at the state fair won a blue ribbon.
a blue ribbon worn as a badge of honor, especially by members of the Order of the Garter of the British knighthood.
(initial capital letters) Also British, Blue Ribband. (formerly) a prize awarded to an ocean liner making the fastest recorded trip across the Atlantic Ocean between Ambrose Lightship and Bishop Rock.
a badge used by some temperance organizations to indicate a pledge of abstinence from alcohol.

Origin of blue ribbon

First recorded in 1645–55 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for blue-ribbon

Contemporary Examples of blue-ribbon

Historical Examples of blue-ribbon

  • If I see her every day I shall have seen the blue-ribbon winner.

    T. Tembarom

    Frances Hodgson Burnett

  • If I'm nothing else, I'm blue-ribbon boy on the health question.

    The Lieutenant-Governor

    Guy Wetmore Carryl

  • Our Annual Handicap is the blue-ribbon event of the year so far as most of us are concerned.


    Charles Emmett Van Loan

  • "Think it is like the blue-ribbon army," he said, when he returned to Netty's side.

    The Vultures

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • I rode on Mrs. Scot-Williams' beautiful, black, blue-ribbon winner.

    The Fifth Wheel

    Olive Higgins Prouty

British Dictionary definitions for blue-ribbon

blue ribbon


(in Britain) a badge of blue silk worn by members of the Order of the Garter
a badge awarded as the first prize in a competition
US a badge worn by a member of a temperance society
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