[ blooz ]
See synonyms for blues on
  1. the blues, (used with a plural verb) depressed spirits; despondency; melancholy: This rainy spell is giving me the blues.

  2. (used with a singular verb)Jazz.

    • a song, originating with African Americans, that is marked by the frequent occurrence of blue notes, and that takes the basic form, customarily improvised upon in performance, of a 12-bar chorus consisting of a 3-line stanza with the second line repeating the first.

    • the genre constituting such songs.

Origin of blues

First recorded in 1740–50; cf. blue (in the sense “depressed in spirits; dejected; melancholy”)

Other words from blues

  • bluesy, adjective

Other definitions for blues (2 of 2)

[ blooz ]

noun(used with a plural verb)
  1. any of various blue military uniforms worn by members of the U.S. armed services: dress blues.

  2. a blue uniform for work; blue work clothes: a doctor in surgical blues.

  1. Informal. police: The blues keep this neighborhood safe.

Origin of blues

see origin at blue, -s3 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use blues in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for blues (1 of 2)


/ (bluːz) /

pl nthe blues (sometimes functioning as singular)
  1. a feeling of depression or deep unhappiness

  2. a type of folk song devised by Black Americans at the beginning of the 20th century, usually employing a basic 12-bar chorus, the tonic, subdominant, and dominant chords, frequent minor intervals, and blue notes

Derived forms of blues

  • bluesy, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for Blues (2 of 2)


/ (bluːz) /

pl n
  1. the Blues British the Royal Horse Guards

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

Cultural definitions for blues


A kind of jazz that evolved from the music of African-Americans, especially work songs and spirituals (see also spirituals), in the early twentieth century. Blues pieces often express worry or depression.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with blues


see have the blues.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.