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blue ribbon

the highest award or distinction, as the first prize in a contest:
His entry at the state fair won a blue ribbon.
a blue ribbon worn as a badge of honor, especially by members of the Order of the Garter of the British knighthood.
(initial capital letters). Also, British, Blue Ribband. (formerly) a prize awarded to an ocean liner making the fastest recorded trip across the Atlantic Ocean between Ambrose Lightship and Bishop Rock.
a badge used by some temperance organizations to indicate a pledge of abstinence from alcohol.
Origin of blue ribbon


[bloo-rib-uh n] /ˈbluˈrɪb ən/
of superior quality or prominence; first-rate; specially selected:
a blue-ribbon committee of fund-raisers.
1925-30; adj. use of blue ribbon Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for blue ribbon
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Nothing then remained in the box but a small package of six or eight time-yellowed epistles bound together with a blue ribbon.

    The Masked Bridal Mrs. Georgie Sheldon
  • Nevertheless, it is to be noted that Mrs Mooney did not put the blue ribbon off.

    The Lively Poll R.M. Ballantyne
  • The blue ribbon of the Garter was crossed over her breast, and around her neck was a collar of diamonds.

  • Her hair was fluffy, and coquettishly knotted at the back with blue ribbon.

    Flint Maud Wilder Goodwin
  • On his way to this abode of the destitute, he was overtaken by a huge man with a little bit of blue ribbon in his button-hole.

  • "It will be horrid of them if they don't award you a blue ribbon," she said.

    The Gay Rebellion Robert W. Chambers
British Dictionary definitions for blue ribbon

blue ribbon

(in Britain) a badge of blue silk worn by members of the Order of the Garter
a badge awarded as the first prize in a competition
(US) a badge worn by a member of a temperance society
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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