- air forced into a furnace by a blower to increase the rate of combustion.
- a jet of steam directed up a smokestack, as of a steam locomotive, to increase draft.
- a draft thus increased.
- a party or riotously good time: Did we have a blast last night!
- something that gives great pleasure or enjoyment; thrill; treat: My new electronic game is a blast.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- (of a rocket) to leave a launch pad under its own power.
- (of an astronaut) to travel aloft in a rocket.
Origin of blast
Synonyms for blast
- the rapid movement of air away from the centre of an explosion, combustion of rocket fuel, etc
- a wave of overpressure caused by an explosion; shock wave
Word Origin for blast
Old English blæst "blowing, breeze, puff of wind," from Proto-Germanic *bles- (cf. Old Norse blastr, Old High German blast "a blowing, blast," German blasen, Gothic blesan "to blow"), from PIE *bhle- "to blow," probably a variant of root *bhel- (2) "to blow, inflate, swell" (see bole).
Meaning "explosion" is from 1630s; that of "noisy party, good time" is from 1953, American English slang. Sense of "strong current of air for iron-smelting" (1690s) led to blast furnace and transferred sense in full blast "the extreme" (1839). Blast was the usual word for "a smoke of tobacco" c.1600.
Old English blæstan "to blow, belch forth," from the root of blast (n.). Since 16c., often "to breathe on balefully." Meaning "to blow up by explosion" is from 1758. Related: Blasted; blasting. Blast off (n.) is attested from 1950.
Also, at full blast. At full power, with great energy; also, as loud as possible. For example, The committee is working full blast on the plans, or The fanfare featured the trumpets at full blast. This expression transfers the strong currents of air used in furnaces to anything being done at full power. [Late 1700s]
In addition to the idiom beginning with blast
- blast off
- full blast