Big Blue
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.'' --Milton. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

3. Low in spirits; melancholy; as, to feel blue. [1913 Webster]

4. Suited to produce low spirits; gloomy in prospect; as, thongs looked blue. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

6. Literary; -- applied to women; -- an abbreviation of {bluestocking}. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]

The ladies were very blue and well informed. --Thackeray. [1913 Webster]

{Blue asbestus}. See {Crocidolite}.

{Blue black}, of, or having, a very dark blue color, almost black.

{Blue blood}. See under {Blood}.

{Blue buck} (Zo["o]l.), a small South African antelope ({Cephalophus pygm[ae]us}); also applied to a larger species ({[AE]goceras leucoph[ae]us}); the blaubok.

{Blue cod} (Zo["o]l.), the buffalo cod.

{Blue crab} (Zo["o]l.), 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 {bastard pennyroyal}.

{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 uniform.

{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.

{Blue Monday}, (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.

{Blue ribbon}. (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.'' --Farrar. (c) The distinctive badge of certain temperance or total abstinence organizations, as of the --Blue ribbon Army.

{Blue ruin}, utter ruin; also, gin. [Eng. Slang] --Carlyle.

{Blue spar} (Min.), azure spar; lazulite. See {Lazulite}.

{Blue thrush} (Zo["o]l.), a European and Asiatic thrush ({Petrocossyphus cyaneas}).

{Blue verditer}. See {Verditer}.

{Blue vitriol} (Chem.), sulphate of copper, a violet blue crystallized salt, used in electric batteries, calico printing, etc.

{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 Covenanters. [1913 Webster]

For his religion . . . 'T was Presbyterian, true blue. --Hudibras. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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