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[blis-ter] /ˈblɪs tər/
a thin vesicle on the skin, containing watery matter or serum, as from a burn or other injury.
any similar swelling, as an air bubble in a coat of paint.
a relatively large bubble occurring in glass during blowing.
Military. a transparent bulge or dome on the fuselage of an airplane, usually for mounting a gun.
Photography. a bubble of air formed where the emulsion has separated from the base of a film, as because of defective processing.
a dome or skylight on a building.
the moving bubble in a spirit level.
a small blisterlike covering of plastic, usually affixed to a piece of cardboard and containing a small item, as a pen, bolt, or medicinal tablet.
verb (used with object)
to raise a blister or blisters on:
These new shoes blistered my feet.
to criticize or rebuke severely:
The boss blistered his assistant in front of the whole office.
to beat or thrash; punish severely.
verb (used without object)
to form or rise as a blister or blisters; become blistered.
Origin of blister
1250-1300; Middle English blister, blester < Old Norse blǣstri, dative of blāstr swelling. See blast, blow2
Related forms
reblister, verb
unblistered, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for blister
  • Warm or cold compresses can relieve pain and swelling and may keep a blister from forming.
  • Puffed, mushy fruit, with skin that resembles a painful blister from a pair of new shoes.
  • Do not use glue, as it will blister the pads, causing them to rot.
  • We cover the grill in chilies, turning them as the skins blister.
  • Has it in any form and his mouth and tongue blister.
  • Tanned as they already were, their lips and noses began to blister under the fiery sunlight.
  • There's often a burned blister of cheese looming in the center.
  • He had not worn socks to play tennis, and had developed a blister on one of his toes.
  • Cook until lightly browned and the skin begins to blister, about ten to twenty minutes, turning occasionally.
  • Jennifer nods and licks her fever blister distractedly.
British Dictionary definitions for blister


a small bubble-like elevation of the skin filled with serum, produced as a reaction to a burn, mechanical irritation, etc
a swelling containing air or liquid, as on a painted surface
a transparent dome or any bulge on the fuselage of an aircraft, such as one used for observation
(slang) an irritating person
(NZ, slang) a rebuke
to have or cause to have blisters
(transitive) to attack verbally with great scorn or sarcasm
Derived Forms
blistered, adjective
blistery, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French blestre, probably from Middle Dutch bluyster blister; see blast
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for blister

c.1300, perhaps via Old French blestre "blister, lump, bump," from a Scandinavian source (cf. Old Norse blastr "a blowing," dative blæstri "swelling"), or from Middle Dutch blyster "swelling;" perhaps from PIE *bhlei- "to blow, swell," extension of root *bhel- (2) "to blow, inflate, swell;" see bole.


"to become covered in blisters," late 15c.; "to raise blisters on," 1540s, from blister (n.). Related: Blistered; blistering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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blister in Medicine

blister blis·ter (blĭs'tər)
A local swelling of the skin that contains watery fluid and is caused by burning, infection, or irritation.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for blister


  1. An annoying person without whom one could do nicely: He's not quite a jerk, just a blister (1800s+)
  2. A prostitute (mid-1800s+)
  3. A bubble-shaped transparent covering on an aircraft cockpit, roof opening, etc (1940s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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