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[bloh] /bloʊ/
verb (used without object), blew, blown, blowing.
(of the wind or air) to be in motion.
to move along, carried by or as by the wind:
Dust seemed to blow through every crack in the house.
to produce or emit a current of air, as with the mouth or a bellows:
Blow on your hands to warm them.
(of a horn, trumpet, etc.) to give out sound.
to make a blowing sound; whistle:
The siren blew just as we rounded the corner.
(of horses) to breathe hard or quickly; pant.
Informal. to boast; brag:
He kept blowing about his medals.
Zoology. (of a whale) to spout.
(of a fuse, light bulb, vacuum tube, tire, etc.) to burst, melt, stop functioning, or be destroyed by exploding, overloading, etc. (often followed by out):
A fuse blew just as we sat down to dinner. The rear tire blew out.
to burst from internal pressure:
Poorly sealed cans will often blow.
Slang. to leave; depart.
verb (used with object), blew, blown, blowing.
to drive by means of a current of air:
A sudden breeze blew the smoke into the house.
to spread or make widely known:
Growing panic blew the rumor about.
to drive a current of air upon.
to clear or empty by forcing air through:
Try blowing your nose.
to shape (glass, smoke, etc.) with a current of air:
to blow smoke rings.
to cause to sound, as by a current of air:
Blow your horn at the next crossing.
Jazz. to play (a musical instrument of any kind).
to cause to explode (often followed by up, to bits, etc.):
A mine blew the ship to bits.
to burst, melt, burn out, or destroy by exploding, overloading, etc. (often followed by out):
to blow a tire; blow a fuse.
to destroy; demolish (usually followed by down, over, etc.):
The windstorm blew down his house.
  1. to spend money on.
  2. to squander; spend quickly:
    He blew a fortune on racing cars.
  3. to waste; lose:
    The team blew the lead by making a bad play.
Informal. to mishandle, ruin, botch; make a mess of; bungle:
With one stupid mistake he blew the whole project. It was your last chance and you blew it!
Slang. to damn:
Blow the cost!
to put (a horse) out of breath by fatigue.
Slang. to depart from:
to blow town.
Slang: Vulgar. to perform fellatio on.
Slang. to smoke (marijuana or other drugs).
a blast of air or wind:
to clean machinery with a blow.
Informal. a violent windstorm, gale, hurricane, or the like:
one of the worst blows we ever had around here.
an act of producing a blast of air, as in playing a wind instrument:
a few discordant blows by the bugler.
  1. a blast of air forced through a converter, as in the production of steel or copper.
  2. the stage of the production process during which this blast is used.
Civil Engineering, boil1 (def 12).
Slang. cocaine.
Verb phrases
blow away, Slang.
  1. to kill, especially by gunfire:
    The gang threatened to blow away anyone who talked to the police.
  2. to defeat decisively; trounce:
    She blew her opponent away in three straight sets.
  3. to overwhelm with emotion, astonishment, etc.:
    Good poetry just blows me away.
blow down, Metallurgy. to suspend working of (a blast furnace) by smelting the existing charge with a diminishing blast.
blow in,
  1. Slang. to arrive at a place, especially unexpectedly:
    My uncle just blew in from Sacramento.
  2. Metallurgy. to begin operations in (a blast furnace).
blow off,
  1. to allow steam to be released.
  2. Informal. to reduce or release tension, as by loud talking.
  3. Informal. to ignore, evade, or treat as unimportant:
    I mentioned his insulting remark, and he just blew the whole thing off.
  4. Informal. to not go to or participate in:
    He blew off his first-period class three times that week.
  5. Informal. to fail to meet (someone) as planned without alerting the person beforehand:
    I waited 20 minutes before I realized my sister had blown me off.
  6. Informal. to end a romantic or other relationship with:
    He blew me off after our third date.
blow out,
  1. to become extinguished:
    The candles blew out at once.
  2. to lose force or cease:
    The storm has blown itself out.
  3. (of an oil or gas well) to lose oil or gas uncontrollably.
  4. Metallurgy. to blow down and clean (a blast furnace) in order to shut down.
blow over,
  1. to pass away; subside:
    The storm blew over in five minutes.
  2. to be forgotten:
    The scandal will eventually blow over.
blow up,
  1. to come into being:
    A storm suddenly blew up.
  2. to explode:
    The ship blew up.
  3. to cause to explode:
    to blow up a bridge.
  4. to exaggerate; enlarge:
    He blew up his own role in his account of the project.
  5. Informal. to lose one's temper:
    When he heard she had quit school, he blew up.
  6. to fill with air; inflate:
    to blow up a tire.
  7. Photography. to make an enlarged reproduction of.
  8. Mathematics. (of a function) to become infinite.
blow hot and cold, to favor something at first and reject it later on; waver; vacillate:
His enthusiasm for the job blows hot and cold.
blow off steam, Informal. steam (def 23).
Also, let off steam.
blow one's cool, Slang. to lose one's composure; become angry, frantic, or flustered.
blow one's cover. cover (def 52).
blow one's lines, Theater. to forget or make an error in a speaking part or stage directions.
blow one's mind. mind (def 36).
blow one's stack. stack (def 23).
blow one's top. top1 (def 43).
Origin of blow2
before 1000; Middle English blowen (v.), Old English blāwan; cognate with Latin flāre to blow Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for blow down
Historical Examples
  • In short, everything was in train, and it needed only a breath to blow down John's faith like a house of cards.

    The Son of a Servant August Strindberg
  • We have neither cannon to blow down the walls, nor means of scaling them.

    No Surrender! G. A. Henty
  • It's like a September gale; the best o' barns'll blow down, an' some rickety shanty'll stan' the strain.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • If the wind should change an' blow down from the north, they'll be off as shore as shooting.

    Bar-20 Days Clarence E. Mulford
  • He showed it to me, and I saw that it had a sort of mouthpiece fixed into it; and he made signs that he was going to blow down it.

    On the Irrawaddy G. A. Henty
  • Wind may blow down a tall tree which lands in the edge of the park.

  • There was a big cod or haddock on every line, when all of a sudden the cable parted and they began to blow down on the ledge.

    Jim Spurling, Fisherman Albert Walter Tolman
  • The air that will blow down the long gentle uplands will be very sweet.

    My Friend Annabel Lee Mary MacLane
  • A windbreak of heavy tree growth is desirable but never get near trees that may blow down in a storm.

    Touring Afoot Claude Powell Fordyce
  • For all that, when the sand began to blow down the wady his speed got faster.

    Kit Musgrave's Luck Harold Bindloss
British Dictionary definitions for blow down

blow down

to open a valve in a steam boiler to eject any sediment that has collected


verb blows, blowing, blew, blown
(of a current of air, the wind, etc) to be or cause to be in motion
(intransitive) to move or be carried by or as if by wind or air: a feather blew in through the window
to expel (air, cigarette smoke, etc) through the mouth or nose
to force or cause (air, dust, etc) to move (into, in, over, etc) by using an instrument or by expelling breath
(intransitive) to breathe hard; pant
(sometimes foll by up) to inflate with air or the breath
(intransitive) (of wind, a storm, etc) to make a roaring or whistling sound
to cause (a whistle, siren, etc) to sound by forcing air into it, as a signal, or (of a whistle, etc) to sound thus
(transitive) to force air from the lungs through (the nose) to clear out mucus or obstructing matter
often foll by up, down, in, etc. to explode, break, or disintegrate completely: the bridge blew down in the gale
(electronics) to burn out (a fuse, valve, etc) because of excessive current or (of a fuse, valve, etc) to burn out
(slang) blow a fuse, to lose one's temper
(intransitive) (of a whale) to spout water or air from the lungs
(transitive) to wind (a horse) by making it run excessively
to cause (a wind instrument) to sound by forcing one's breath into the mouthpiece, or (of such an instrument) to sound in this way
(intransitive) (jazz, slang) to play in a jam session
(intransitive) (of flies) to lay eggs (in)
to shape (glass, ornaments, etc) by forcing air or gas through the material when molten
(intransitive) (mainly Scot & Austral, NZ) to boast or brag
(transitive) (slang)
  1. to spend (money) freely
  2. (US) to treat or entertain
(transitive) (slang) to use (an opportunity) ineffectively
(slang) to go suddenly away (from)
(transitive) (slang) to expose or betray (a person or thing meant to be kept secret)
(transitive) (US, slang) to inhale (a drug)
(intransitive) (slang) to masturbate
(informal) (past part) blowed another word for damn I'll be blowed, blow it!
(draughts) another word for huff (sense 4)
blow hot and cold, to vacillate
blow a kiss, blow kisses, to kiss one's hand, then blow across it as if to carry the kiss through the air to another person
blow one's own trumpet, to boast of one's own skills or good qualities
(slang) blow someone's mind
  1. (of a drug, esp LSD) to alter someone's mental state
  2. especially (US & Canadian) to astound or surprise someone
(informal) blow one's top, especially (US & Canadian) blow one's stack, blow one's lid, to lose one's temper
the act or an instance of blowing
the sound produced by blowing
a blast of air or wind
  1. a stage in the Bessemer process in which air is blasted upwards through molten pig iron
  2. the quantity of metal treated in a Bessemer converter
  1. a rush of air into a mine
  2. the collapse of a mine roof
(jazz, slang) a jam session
  1. (Brit) a slang name for cannabis (sense 2)
  2. (US) a slang name for cocaine
Word Origin
Old English blāwan, related to Old Norse blǣr gust of wind, Old High German blāen, Latin flāre


a powerful or heavy stroke with the fist, a weapon, etc
at one blow, at a blow, by or with only one action; all at one time
a sudden setback; unfortunate event: to come as a blow
come to blows
  1. to fight
  2. to result in a fight
an attacking action: a blow for freedom
(Austral & NZ) a stroke of the shears in sheep-shearing
Word Origin
C15: probably of Germanic origin; compare Old High German bliuwan to beat


verb blows, blowing, blew, blown
(intransitive) (of a plant or flower) to blossom or open out
(transitive) to produce (flowers)
a mass of blossoms
the state or period of blossoming (esp in the phrase in full blow)
Word Origin
Old English blōwan; related to Old Frisian blōia to bloom, Old High German bluoen, Latin flōs flower; see bloom1
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 blow down



"move air," Old English blawan "blow, breathe, make an air current; kindle; inflate; sound a wind instrument" (class VII strong verb; past tense bleow, past participle blawen), from Proto-Germanic *blæ-anan (cf. Old High German blaen, German blähen), from PIE *bhle- "to swell, blow up" (cf. Latin flare "to blow"), possibly identical with *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell" (see bole).

Meaning "to squander" (of money) is from 1874. Sense of "depart suddenly" is from 1902. Slang "do fellatio on" sense is from 1933, as blow (someone) off, originally among prostitutes (cf. blow job). This usage probably is not connected to the colloquial imprecation (1781, associated with sailors, e.g. Popeye's "well, blow me down!"), which has past participle blowed. Meaning "to spend (money) foolishly and all at once" is 1890s; that of "bungle an opportunity" is from 1943. To blow over "pass" is from 1610s, originally of storms. To blow (someone's) mind was in use by 1967; there is a song title "Blow Your Mind" released in a 1965 Mirawood recording by a group called The Gas Company.

"to bloom, blossom" (intransitive), from Old English blowan "to flower, blossom, flourish," from Proto-Germanic *blæ- (cf. Old Saxon bloian, Old Frisian bloia, Middle Dutch and Dutch bloeien, Old High German bluoen, German blühen), from PIE *bhle-, extended form of *bhel- (2) "to blow, inflate, swell" (see bole). This word is the source of the blown in full-blown.


"hard hit," mid-15c., blowe, from northern and East Midlands dialects, perhaps from Middle Dutch blouwen "to beat," a common Germanic word of unknown origin (cf. German bleuen, Gothic bliggwan "to strike"). Influenced in English by blow (v.1). In reference to descriptions or accounts, blow-by-blow is recorded from 1921, American English, originally of prize-fight broadcasts.

LIKE a hungry kitten loves its saucer of warm milk, so do radio fans joyfully listen to the blow-by-blow broadcast description of a boxing bout. ["The Wireless Age," December 1922]

"a blowing, a blast," 1650s, from blow (v.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for blow down



  1. To do or perform something, esp to do it well: He blows great conversation (1950s+ Beat & cool talk)
  2. Cocaine: ok, he gets busted for blow eight times/ Hell, half the people doing blow are reacting to the cut (1960s+ Narcotics)


  1. To play a musical instrument, esp in jazz style and not necessarily a wind instrument: There will be three kids blowing guitar, banjo, and washboard/ This music is the culmination of all my writing and blowing (1900s+ Jazz musicians)
  2. To do fellatio or cunnilingus; suck off (1930s+)
  3. To be disgusting, nasty, worthless, etc; bite, suck: This blows and you do too (1970s+)
  4. To treat someone to something; buy something expensive or unusual for someone: I blew myself to a new pair of shoes (1870s+)
  5. (also blow something in) To spend money, esp foolishly and all at once: The state blew my money buying votes for Roosevelt/ And blow it in on smokes (1890s+)
  6. To take a narcotic, esp but not necessarily by inhalation: Jimi blew every kind of dope invented/ I don't know how you can blow dust and eat (1920+)
  7. To smoke marijuana; blow smoke: He enjoys sex; he does not blow grass (1960s+ Narcotics)
  8. To leave; depart; split: I'm blowing, I got a job in Detroit (1902+)
  9. To lose or ruin something by mistake, inattention, incompetence, etc; blow it: I blew the best chance I ever had (1920+)
  10. To forget or botch one's part in a show (1920s+ Theater)
  11. blow off
  12. To inform against someone; sing (1840s+)
  13. To expose or publicize something secret, esp something scandalous: Treat me right or I'll blow it about the love nest (late 1500s+)
  14. To lose one's temper; BLOW one's TOP (1900s+)
  15. (also blow off) To brag; TOOT one's OWN HORN (1400+)
  16. To sing, esp to sing well (1980s+ College students)

Related Terms

blow someone away, blow one's cool, blow someone's or something's cover, blow someone's mind, blow off one's mouth, blow the gaff, blow the lid off, blow the whistle, blow up, blow up a storm, blow something wide open, let off steam, low blow, one-two


Related Terms

joe blow

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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Idioms and Phrases with blow down
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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