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Etymology 1[edit]

Old English blyscan. Cognate with Old Norse blys ‎(torch) and Danish blus ‎(blaze).


blush ‎(plural blushes)

  1. An act of blushing.
  2. (uncountable) A sort of makeup, frequently a powder, used to redden the cheeks. Confer rouge.
  3. A color between pink and cream.
    blush colour:    
Derived terms[edit]


blush ‎(third-person singular simple present blushes, present participle blushing, simple past and past participle blushed)

  1. (intransitive) To redden in the face from shame, excitement or embarrassment.
    He wasn't used to this much attention, so he blushed as he saw dozens of pairs of eyes watching him.
    • Milton
      To the nuptial bower / I led her blushing like the morn.
    • 1912, Stratemeyer Syndicate, Baseball Joe on the School Nine Chapter 1
      But Tommy was bashful, and the attention he had thus drawn upon himself made him blush. He was a timid lad and he shrank away now, evidently fearing Shell.
  2. (intransitive) To become red.
    • Shakespeare
      The sun of heaven, methought, was loth to set, / But stayed, and made the western welkin blush.
  3. (transitive) To suffuse with a blush; to redden; to make roseate.
    • Shakespeare
      To blush and beautify the cheek again.
  4. (transitive) To change skin color in the face (to a particular shade).
    When he saw it, he blushed a beet red.
    I wasn't surprised, but it was embarrassing enough that I blushed a little pink.
  5. (transitive) To express or make known by blushing.
    Looking at me with a knowing glare, she blushed her discomfort with the situation.
    • Shakespeare
      I'll blush you thanks.
  6. (intransitive) To have a warm and delicate colour, like some roses and other flowers.
    The garden was full of blossoms that blushed in myriad shades to form a beautiful carpet of color.
    • T. Gray
      Full many a flower is born to blush unseen.

Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

1486 Dame Julia Barnes. The Book of St Albans.


blush ‎(plural blushes)

  1. The collective noun for a group of boys.
    A blush of boys.
Usage notes[edit]

This is probably a fanciful expression and is not in common use.

  • Noun sense: 1986 Oxford Reference Dictionary: Appendix




blush m (uncountable)

  1. (uncountable) blush (makeup)