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verb (used with object), blurred, blur·ring.
  1. to obscure or sully (something) by smearing or with a smeary substance: The windows were blurred with soot.
  2. to obscure by making confused in form or outline; make indistinct: The fog blurred the outline of the car.
  3. to dim the perception or susceptibility of; make dull or insensible: The blow on the head blurred his senses.
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verb (used without object), blurred, blur·ring.
  1. to become indistinct: Everything blurred as she ran.
  2. to make blurs.
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  1. a smudge or smear that obscures: a blur of smoke.
  2. a blurred condition; indistinctness: They could see nothing in the foggy blur.
  3. something seen indistinctly: The ship appeared as a blur against the horizon.
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Origin of blur

First recorded in 1540–50; akin to blear
Related formsblur·red·ly [blur-id-lee, blurd-] /ˈblɜr ɪd li, ˈblɜrd-/, adverbblur·red·ness, nounblur·ring·ly, adverbun·blurred, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for blurred

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Harriett noticed pale, blurred lines on the edges of her lips.

  • The wrack had thickened to seaward, and the coast was but a blurred line.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • It is for the reader to say whether Shakespeare blurred the picture, or bettered it.

  • A vision of gray eyes, blurred in tears of regret, had obliterated all that was material.


    W. A. Fraser

  • I remember a blurred glimpse of more fighting forms around me.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

British Dictionary definitions for blurred


verb blurs, blurring or blurred
  1. to make or become vague or less distinctheat haze blurs the hills; education blurs class distinctions
  2. to smear or smudge
  3. (tr) to make (the judgment, memory, or perception) less clear; dim
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  1. something vague, hazy, or indistinct
  2. a smear or smudge
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Derived Formsblurred, adjectiveblurredly (ˈblɜːrɪdlɪ, ˈblɜːd-), adverbblurredness, nounblurriness, nounblurry, adjective

Word Origin

C16: perhaps variant of blear
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 blurred



1540s, "smear on the surface of writing;" perhaps akin to blear. Extended sense of "confused dimness" is from 1860.

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1580s, and thus probably from blur (n.), but the dates are close and either might be the original. Related: Blurred; blurring.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper