Blue laws
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.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • blue laws — n. Laws regulating or prohibiting certain otherwise legal activities, especially commercial activities, either on Sunday or all the time for essentially a religious reason. For example, an ordinance prohibiting the operation on Sunday of a dance… …   Law dictionary

  • blue laws — ➔ law * * * blue laws UK US noun [plural] LAW ► laws that exist in some US states that prevent stores from opening on Sunday, or from opening before a particular time: »Anderson County chose to suspend blue laws for December …   Financial and business terms

  • Blue Laws — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Les Blue laws sont la première législation écrite des îles Cook. Les Blue laws désignent aux États Unis et au Canada un ensemble de lois abrogées au cours …   Wikipédia en Français

  • blue laws — plural noun (US hist) Puritanical 18c laws in Connecticut • • • Main Entry: ↑blue …   Useful english dictionary

  • blue laws — 1781, severe Puritanical code said to have been enacted 18c. in New Haven, Connecticut; of uncertain origin, perhaps from one of the ground senses behind blues, or from notion of coldness. Or perhaps connected to bluestocking in the sense of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Blue laws — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Les Blue laws sont la première législation écrite des îles Cook. Les Blue laws désignent aux États Unis et au Canada un ensemble de lois abrogées au cours …   Wikipédia en Français

  • blue laws — n. puritanical laws, local or government laws that forbid commercial activities on Sundays …   English contemporary dictionary

  • blue laws — Statutes regulating entertainment activities, work, and commerce on Sundays. Such laws have their origin in colonial New England …   Black's law dictionary

  • blue laws — Statutes regulating entertainment activities, work, and commerce on Sundays. Such laws have their origin in colonial New England …   Black's law dictionary

  • blue laws —  Local or state regulations restricting some types of business activities on Sunday. Foreign visitors to the BIBLE BELT are often bemused to find they cannot buy liquor on Sunday in some parts of the region. The term is derived from the… …   American business jargon

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