a brief advertisement or announcement, especially a laudatory one: She wrote a good blurb for her friend's novel.

verb (used with object)

to advertise or praise in the manner of a blurb.

Origin of blurb

An Americanism dating back to 1910–15; allegedly coined by F. G. Burgess
Related formsblurb·ist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for blurb

ad, commendation, spot, brief, advertisement, puff

Examples from the Web for blurb

Contemporary Examples of blurb

  • Even the patron saint of teenage girls, Judy Blume, is featured on the back cover with a blurb for the book.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Time to Grow Up, Lena Dunham

    Emily Shire

    October 10, 2014

  • I first read the book in galleys some months ago; the finished edition carries a blurb from me on the back cover.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Who Was the Real Cato?

    David Frum

    December 20, 2012

  • Shteyngart sat down with The Daily Beast to discuss the book, the art of the blurb, and, yes, teaching James Franco.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Hipster Novelist Gary Shteyngart on Mentoring James Franco

    Gregory Gilderman, The Daily Beast Video

    July 23, 2010

  • That first connection over a love of words convinced Goldstein to have her editor ask Pinker to blurb her next book.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Atheism's Soulful Philosopher

    John Douglas Marshall

    February 2, 2010

  • Her first book, Poems, was published in 1944, with a blurb from Eliot, her editor at Faber.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Best of Brit Lit

    Peter Stothard

    November 4, 2009

Historical Examples of blurb

  • It—it's just the sort of thing we call a 'blurb,' Miss West!


    Leona Dalrymple

  • Herman had the wild thought that they were blurb writers whose jobs had gone to their heads.

    Freudian Slip

    Franklin Abel

  • Front matter consisting of a blurb and a list of other publications by the author has been moved to the end of the text.

    Storm Over Warlock

    Andre Norton

  • Matson read that blurb in an official press release and laughed cynically.


    Jesse Franklin Bone

British Dictionary definitions for blurb



a promotional description, as found on the jackets of books

Word Origin for blurb

C20: coined by Gelett Burgess (1866–1951), US humorist and illustrator
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 blurb

used by U.S. scholar Brander Matthews (1852-1929) in 1906 in "American Character;" popularized 1907 by U.S. humorist Frank Gelett Burgess (1866-1951). Originally mocking excessive praise printed on book jackets.

Gelett Burgess, whose recent little book, "Are You a Bromide?" has been referred to above, then entertained the guests with some characteristic flashes of Burgessian humor. Referring to the word "blurb" on the wrapper of his book he said: "To 'blurb' is to make a sound like a publisher. The blurb was invented by Frank A. Munsey when he wrote on the front of his magazine in red ink 'I consider this number of Munsey's the hottest pie that ever came out of my bakery.' ... A blurb is a check drawn on Fame, and it is seldom honored.["] ["Publishers' Weekly," May 18, 1907]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper