From Middle English blenden, either from Old English blandan, blondan, ġeblandan, ġeblendan or from Old Norse blanda (“to blend, mix”) (which was originally a strong verb with the present-tense stem blend; compare blendingr (“a blending, a mixture; a half-breed”)), whence also Danish blande, or from a blend of the Old English and Old Norse terms; both ultimately from Proto-Germanic *blandaną (“to blend; mix; combine”). Compare Middle Dutch blanden (“to mix”), Gothic 𐌱𐌻𐌰𐌽𐌳𐌰𐌽 (blandan), Old Church Slavonic блєсти (blesti, “to go astray”).
blend (plural blends)
- A mixture of two or more things.
- (linguistics) A word formed by combining two other words; a grammatical contamination, portmanteau word.
- 2018, James Lambert, “A multitude of ‘lishes’: The nomenclature of hybridity”, in English World-Wide, page 10:
- Blends, also known as portmanteau words, are not an original part of English. That is, none occur in Old or Middle English, nor even in Elizabethan English, with the earliest known example being the rare and now obsolete term tomaxe, a blend of tomahawk and axe.
- (transitive) To mingle; to mix; to unite intimately; to pass or shade insensibly into each other.
- (intransitive) To be mingled or mixed.
- 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 3, in The China Governess:
- Sepia Delft tiles surrounded the fireplace, their crudely drawn Biblical scenes in faded cyclamen blending with the pinkish pine, while above them, instead of a mantelshelf, there was an archway high enough to form a balcony with slender balusters and a tapestry-hung wall behind.
- 2013 May-June, William E. Conner, “An Acoustic Arms Race”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3, pages 206–7:
- Earless ghost swift moths become “invisible” to echolocating bats by forming mating clusters close […] above vegetation and effectively blending into the clutter of echoes that the bat receives from the leaves and stems around them. Many insects probably use this strategy, which is a close analogy to crypsis in the visible world—camouflage and other methods for blending into one’s visual background.
- (obsolete) To pollute by mixture or association; to spoil or corrupt; to blot; to stain.
- 1595, Edmunde Spenser [i.e., Edmund Spenser], “[Amoretti.] Sonnet LXII”, in Amoretti and Epithalamion. […], London: […] [Peter Short] for William Ponsonby, →OCLC; reprinted in Amoretti and Epithalamion (The Noel Douglas Replicas), London: Noel Douglas […], 1927, →OCLC:
- These stormes, which now his beauty blend,
Shall turn to calmes.
- ^ “blend”, in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995–present.
- ^ “blend”, in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, 1996–present.
- ^ “blanda” in: Richard Cleasby, Guðbrandur Vigfússon — An Icelandic-English Dictionary (1874)
- ^ “blendingr” in: Richard Cleasby, Guðbrandur Vigfússon — An Icelandic-English Dictionary (1874)
- ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “blend”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
- The inflected forms with -nn- are used in those dialects in which blend is the inherited form (Moselle Franconian, southern Ripuarian). The forms with -nd- are used in Ripuarian to the extent to which inherited blenk has been replaced with blend.