The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Blue \Blue\ (bl[=u]), a. [Compar. Bluer (bl[=u]"[~e]r);
superl. Bluest.] [OE. bla, blo, blew, blue, livid, black,
fr. Icel.bl[=a]r livid; akin to Dan. blaa blue, Sw. bl[*a],
D. blauw, OHG. bl[=a]o, G. blau; but influenced in form by F.
bleu, from OHG. bl[=a]o.]
1. Having the color of the clear sky, or a hue resembling it,
whether lighter or darker; as, the deep, blue sea; as blue
as a sapphire; blue violets. "The blue firmament."
2. Pale, without redness or glare, -- said of a flame; hence,
of the color of burning brimstone, betokening the presence
of ghosts or devils; as, the candle burns blue; the air
was blue with oaths.
3. Low in spirits; melancholy; as, to feel blue.
4. Suited to produce low spirits; gloomy in prospect; as,
thongs looked blue. [Colloq.]
5. Severe or over strict in morals; gloom; as, blue and sour
religionists; suiting one who is over strict in morals;
inculcating an impracticable, severe, or gloomy mortality;
as, blue laws.
6. Literary; -- applied to women; -- an abbreviation of
The ladies were very blue and well informed.
Blue asbestus. See Crocidolite.
Blue black, of, or having, a very dark blue color, almost
Blue blood. See under Blood.
Blue buck (Zool.), a small South African antelope
(Cephalophus pygm[ae]us); also applied to a larger
species ([AE]goceras leucoph[ae]us); the blaubok.
Blue cod (Zool.), the buffalo cod.
Blue crab (Zool.), the common edible crab of the Atlantic
coast of the United States (Callinectes hastatus).
Blue curls (Bot.), a common plant (Trichostema
dichotomum), resembling pennyroyal, and hence called also
Blue devils, apparitions supposed to be seen by persons
suffering with delirium tremens; hence, very low
spirits. "Can Gumbo shut the hall door upon blue devils,
or lay them all in a red sea of claret?" --Thackeray.
Blue gage. See under Gage, a plum.
Blue gum, an Australian myrtaceous tree (Eucalyptus
globulus), of the loftiest proportions, now cultivated in
tropical and warm temperate regions for its timber, and as
a protection against malaria. The essential oil is
beginning to be used in medicine. The timber is very
useful. See Eucalyptus.
Blue jack, Blue stone, blue vitriol; sulphate of copper.
Blue jacket, a man-of war's man; a sailor wearing a naval
Blue jaundice. See under Jaundice.
Blue laws, a name first used in the eighteenth century to
describe certain supposititious laws of extreme rigor
reported to have been enacted in New Haven; hence, any
puritanical laws. [U. S.]
Blue light, a composition which burns with a brilliant blue
flame; -- used in pyrotechnics and as a night signal at
sea, and in military operations.
Blue mantle (Her.), one of the four pursuivants of the
English college of arms; -- so called from the color of
his official robes.
Blue mass, a preparation of mercury from which is formed
the blue pill. --McElrath.
Blue mold or Blue mould, the blue fungus (Aspergillus
glaucus) which grows on cheese. --Brande & C.
(a) a Monday following a Sunday of dissipation, or itself
given to dissipation (as the Monday before Lent).
(b) a Monday considered as depressing because it is a
workday in contrast to the relaxation of the weekend.
Blue ointment (Med.), mercurial ointment.
Blue Peter (British Marine), a blue flag with a white
square in the center, used as a signal for sailing, to
recall boats, etc. It is a corruption of blue repeater,
one of the British signal flags.
Blue pill. (Med.)
(a) A pill of prepared mercury, used as an aperient, etc.
(b) Blue mass.
(a) The ribbon worn by members of the order of the Garter;
-- hence, a member of that order.
(b) Anything the attainment of which is an object of great
ambition; a distinction; a prize. "These
[scholarships] were the --blue ribbon of the college."
(c) The distinctive badge of certain temperance or total
abstinence organizations, as of the --Blue ribbon
Blue ruin, utter ruin; also, gin. [Eng. Slang] --Carlyle.
Blue spar (Min.), azure spar; lazulite. See Lazulite.
Blue thrush (Zool.), a European and Asiatic thrush
Blue verditer. See Verditer.
Blue vitriol (Chem.), sulphate of copper, a violet blue
crystallized salt, used in electric batteries, calico
Blue water, the open ocean.
Big Blue, the International Business Machines corporation.
[Wall Street slang.] PJC
To look blue, to look disheartened or dejected.
True blue, genuine and thorough; not modified, nor mixed;
not spurious; specifically, of uncompromising
Presbyterianism, blue being the color adopted by the
For his religion . . .
'T was Presbyterian, true blue. --Hudibras.