- a sudden, hard stroke with a hand, fist, or weapon: a blow to the head.
- a sudden shock, calamity, reversal, etc.: His wife's death was a terrible blow to him.
- a sudden attack or drastic action: The invaders struck a blow to the south.
- at one blow, with a single act: He became wealthy and famous at one blow.Also at a blow.
- come to blows, to begin to fight, especially to engage in physical combat: They came to blows over the referee's ruling.
- strike a blow, to hit.
- strike a blow for, to further or advance the cause of: to strike a blow for civil rights.
- without striking a blow, without a battle or contest: The military coup was accomplished without striking a blow.
Origin of blow1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for blow on Thesaurus.com
- (of a current of air, the wind, etc) to be or cause to be in motion
- (intr) to move or be carried by or as if by wind or aira feather blew in through the window
- to expel (air, cigarette smoke, etc) through the mouth or nose
- to force or cause (air, dust, etc) to move (into, in, over, etc) by using an instrument or by expelling breath
- (intr) to breathe hard; pant
- (sometimes foll by up) to inflate with air or the breath
- (intr) (of wind, a storm, etc) to make a roaring or whistling sound
- to cause (a whistle, siren, etc) to sound by forcing air into it, as a signal, or (of a whistle, etc) to sound thus
- (tr) to force air from the lungs through (the nose) to clear out mucus or obstructing matter
- (often foll by up, down, in, etc) to explode, break, or disintegrate completelythe bridge blew down in the gale
- electronics to burn out (a fuse, valve, etc) because of excessive current or (of a fuse, valve, etc) to burn out
- blow a fuse slang to lose one's temper
- (intr) (of a whale) to spout water or air from the lungs
- (tr) to wind (a horse) by making it run excessively
- to cause (a wind instrument) to sound by forcing one's breath into the mouthpiece, or (of such an instrument) to sound in this way
- (intr) jazz slang to play in a jam session
- (intr) (of flies) to lay eggs (in)
- to shape (glass, ornaments, etc) by forcing air or gas through the material when molten
- (intr) mainly Scot, Australian and NZ to boast or brag
- (tr) slang
- to spend (money) freely
- USto treat or entertain
- (tr) slang to use (an opportunity) ineffectively
- slang to go suddenly away (from)
- (tr) slang to expose or betray (a person or thing meant to be kept secret)
- (tr) US slang to inhale (a drug)
- (intr) slang to masturbate
- past participle blowed informal another word for damn I'll be blowed; blow it!
- draughts another word for huff (def. 4)
- blow hot and cold to vacillate
- blow a kiss or blow kisses to kiss one's hand, then blow across it as if to carry the kiss through the air to another person
- blow one's own trumpet to boast of one's own skills or good qualities
- blow someone's mind slang
- (of a drug, esp LSD) to alter someone's mental state
- esp US and Canadianto astound or surprise someone
- blow one's top, esp US and Canadian blow one's stack or blow one's lid informal to lose one's temper
- the act or an instance of blowing
- the sound produced by blowing
- a blast of air or wind
- a stage in the Bessemer process in which air is blasted upwards through molten pig iron
- the quantity of metal treated in a Bessemer converter
- a rush of air into a mine
- the collapse of a mine roof
- jazz slang a jam session
- a powerful or heavy stroke with the fist, a weapon, etc
- at one blow or at a blow by or with only one action; all at one time
- a sudden setback; unfortunate eventto come as a blow
- come to blows
- to fight
- to result in a fight
- an attacking actiona blow for freedom
- Australian and NZ a stroke of the shears in sheep-shearing
- (intr) (of a plant or flower) to blossom or open out
- (tr) to produce (flowers)
- a mass of blossoms
- the state or period of blossoming (esp in the phrase in full blow)
Word Origin and History for come to blows
"move air," Old English blawan "blow, breathe, make an air current; kindle; inflate; sound a wind instrument" (class VII strong verb; past tense bleow, past participle blawen), from Proto-Germanic *blæ-anan (cf. Old High German blaen, German blähen), from PIE *bhle- "to swell, blow up" (cf. Latin flare "to blow"), possibly identical with *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell" (see bole).
Meaning "to squander" (of money) is from 1874. Sense of "depart suddenly" is from 1902. Slang "do fellatio on" sense is from 1933, as blow (someone) off, originally among prostitutes (cf. blow job). This usage probably is not connected to the colloquial imprecation (1781, associated with sailors, e.g. Popeye's "well, blow me down!"), which has past participle blowed. Meaning "to spend (money) foolishly and all at once" is 1890s; that of "bungle an opportunity" is from 1943. To blow over "pass" is from 1610s, originally of storms. To blow (someone's) mind was in use by 1967; there is a song title "Blow Your Mind" released in a 1965 Mirawood recording by a group called The Gas Company.
"to bloom, blossom" (intransitive), from Old English blowan "to flower, blossom, flourish," from Proto-Germanic *blæ- (cf. Old Saxon bloian, Old Frisian bloia, Middle Dutch and Dutch bloeien, Old High German bluoen, German blühen), from PIE *bhle-, extended form of *bhel- (2) "to blow, inflate, swell" (see bole). This word is the source of the blown in full-blown.
"hard hit," mid-15c., blowe, from northern and East Midlands dialects, perhaps from Middle Dutch blouwen "to beat," a common Germanic word of unknown origin (cf. German bleuen, Gothic bliggwan "to strike"). Influenced in English by blow (v.1). In reference to descriptions or accounts, blow-by-blow is recorded from 1921, American English, originally of prize-fight broadcasts.
LIKE a hungry kitten loves its saucer of warm milk, so do radio fans joyfully listen to the blow-by-blow broadcast description of a boxing bout. ["The Wireless Age," December 1922]
"a blowing, a blast," 1650s, from blow (v.1).
Idioms and Phrases with come to blows
come to blows
Begin to fight. For example, It hardly seems worth coming to blows over a dollar! Thomas Hobbes had it in Leviathan (1651): “Their controversie must either come to blowes, or be undecided.” This term is also put as fall to blows, especially in Britain. [Late 1500s]
In addition to the idioms beginning with blow
- blow a fuse
- blow away
- blow by blow
- blow hot and cold
- blow in
- blow it
- blow off
- blow off steam
- blow one's brains out
- blow one's cool
- blow one's cover
- blow one's mind
- blow one's own horn
- blow one's top
- blow out
- blow over
- blow sky-high
- blow someone to
- blow the lid off
- blow the whistle on
- blow up
- at one stroke (blow)
- body blow
- come to blows
- keep (blow) one's cool
- low blow
- way the wind blows