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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English blase, from Old English blæse, blase ‎(firebrand, torch, lamp, flame), from Proto-Germanic *blasǭ ‎(torch), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰel- ‎(to shine, be white). Cognate with Low German blas ‎(burning candle, torch, fire), Middle High German blas ‎(candle, torch, flame). Compare Dutch bles ‎(blaze), German Blesse ‎(blaze, mark on an animal's forehead), Swedish bläs ‎(blaze).


blaze ‎(plural blazes)

  1. A fire, especially a fast-burning fire producing a lot of flames and light.
    • 1907, Robert W. Chambers, chapter III, The Younger Set:
      Long after his cigar burnt bitter, he sat with eyes fixed on the blaze. When the flames at last began to flicker and subside, his lids fluttered, then drooped; but he had lost all reckoning of time when he opened them again to find Miss Erroll in furs and ball-gown kneeling on the hearth and heaping kindling on the coals, [].
  2. Intense, direct light accompanied with heat.
    to seek shelter from the blaze of the sun
    • John Milton (1608-1674)
      O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon!
  3. The white or lighter-coloured markings on a horse's face.
    The palomino had a white blaze on its face.
  4. A high-visibility orange colour, typically used in warning signs and hunters' clothing.
  5. A bursting out, or active display of any quality; an outburst.
  6. A spot made on trees by chipping off a piece of the bark, usually as a surveyor's mark.
    • Robert Carlton (B. R. Hall, 1798-1863)
      Three blazes in a perpendicular line on the same tree indicating a legislative road, the single blaze a settlement or neighbourhood road.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English blasen, from Middle English blase ‎(torch). See above.


blaze ‎(third-person singular simple present blazes, present participle blazing, simple past and past participle blazed)

  1. (intransitive) To be on fire, especially producing a lot of flames and light.
    The campfire blazed merrily.
  2. (intransitive) To shine like a flame.
    • William Wordsworth
      And far and wide the icy summit blazed.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Pretty soon I struck into a sort of path […]. It twisted and turned, [] and opened out into a big clear space like a lawn. And, back of the lawn, was a big, old-fashioned house, with piazzas stretching in front of it, and all blazing with lights.
  3. (transitive) To make a thing shine like a flame.
  4. (transitive) To mark or cut (a route, especially through vegetation), or figuratively, to set a precedent for the taking-on of a challenge.
    The guide blazed his way through the undergrowth.
    Darwin blazed a path for the rest of us.
  5. (slang) To smoke marijuana.
    I like to blaze;  let's go blaze;  we blazed last night;  he blazes every day
    he is blazing right now
Related terms[edit]





  1. (archaic) singular present subjunctive of blazen