at first blush


verb (used without object)
to redden, as from embarrassment or shame: He blushed when they called him a conquering hero.
to feel shame or embarrassment (often followed by at or for ): Your behavior makes me blush for your poor mother.
(of the sky, flowers, etc.) to become rosy.
(of new house paint or lacquer) to become cloudy or dull through moisture or excessive evaporation of solvents.
verb (used with object)
to make red; flush.
to make known by a blush: She could not help blushing the truth.
a reddening, as of the face.
rosy or pinkish tinge.
blusher ( def 2 ).
Also called blush· wine·, rosé.
at first blush, without previous knowledge or adequate consideration; at first glance: At first blush, the solution to the problem seemed simple enough.

1275–1325; (v.) Middle English bluschen, Old English blyscan to redden; akin to Old English blysa, Old Norse blys, Middle Low German blus torch, bloschen to blaze; (noun) Middle English blusch, blisch, derivative of the v.

blushful, adjective
blushfully, adverb
blushfulness, noun
blushingly, adverb
blushless, adjective
outblush, verb (used with object)

1. flush, color.

1. pale, blanch. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
blush (blʌʃ)
1.  (intr) to become suddenly red in the face from embarrassment, shame, modesty, or guilt; redden
2.  to make or become reddish or rosy
3.  a sudden reddening of the face from embarrassment, shame, modesty, or guilt
4.  a rosy glow: the blush of a peach
5.  a reddish or pinkish tinge
6.  a cloudy area on the surface of freshly applied gloss paint
7.  at first blush when first seen; as a first impression
[Old English blӯscan; related to blӯsian to burn, Middle Low German blüsen to light a fire]
n, —adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

M.E. bluschen, from O.E. blyscan "blush, become red, glow" (glossing L. rutilare), akin to blyse "torch," from P.Gmc. *blusi, which also yielded words in Low Ger. (cf. Du. blozen "to blush") and O.N.; from PIE *bhles- "shine" (see blaze). For vowel evolution, see bury.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

blush (blŭsh)
A sudden and brief redness of the face and neck due to emotion; flush.

blush v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

at first blush

Also, at first glance or sight. When first seen. For example, At first blush we thought it was an elegant restaurant, but it soon became obvious that it was hardly the place for a special dinner, or At first glance the contract looked just fine. All three phrases date from the 1300s. The noun blush is used with the obsolete meaning "glimpse" or "momentary view" and in this idiom has nothing to do with showing embarrassment. Also see love at first sight.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Idioms & Phrases
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