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  • IPA(key): /blʌʃ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌʃ
  • Hyphenation: blush

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English blusshen, bluschen, blusschen, blisshen, from Old English blysċan (to be red; shine), perhaps from Proto-Germanic *blaskijaną, from *blasǭ (burning candle; torch) or alternatively from Proto-Germanic *bluskijaną, from *blusjǭ (torch). Cognate with Middle Low German blöschen (to blush). Compare also Old English blysian (to burn; blaze), Dutch blozen (to blush), Danish blusse (to blush), Old Norse blys (torch), Danish blus (blaze).


blush (countable and uncountable, plural blushes)

  1. An act of blushing; a pink or red glow on the face caused by embarrassment, shame, modesty, etc.
  2. A glow; a flush of colour, especially pink or red.
  3. (figuratively) Feeling or appearance of optimism.
    • 1974, “April's Fading Carnation,” Time, 9 September, 1974,[3]Superscript text
      The independence ceremony could not keep the blush of April's revolution, when carnations had seemed to sprout from every buttonhole, from fading.
    • 2016, David McKay, “AngloGold to fire up dividend in 2017 as net debt cut a third,”, 15 August, 2016,[4]
      The weakening of local currencies – in Argentina, Australia and Brazil – gave a blush to the financial numbers. (As a whole, all-in sustaining costs (AISC) improved to an average of $911/oz compared with the $924/oz recorded in the first half of 2015).
  4. (uncountable, countable) A sort of makeup, frequently a powder, used to redden the cheeks.
    Synonyms: blusher, rouge
    • 2016, Sana Passricha, “Keep or Toss: The Shelflife of Your Beauty Treasures,” iDIVA, 22 July, 2016,[5]
      The same rules that apply to face powder apply to powder blush, since neither contains water. Cream blush, however, should be replaced after a year. To prolong the life of any blush, clean your blush brush regularly and store the product in a dry place.
  5. A color between pink and cream.
    • 2006 January 9, Kate Betts, “What to Watch For in 2006”, in Time:
      Makeup colors like ivory and blush dominate spring collections and have even infiltrated Burberry's shoes.
  6. (chiefly US) A pale pink wine made by removing the dark grape skins at the required point during fermentation.
    Synonyms: blush wine, rosé
    • 2016, Mishkah Abrahams, “Blush or Rosé? The Cape's Best Summer Drink,”, 29 September, 2016,[6]
      If you’re looking to indulge in some good food while you sip your blush, pair the Chardonnay-Pinot Noir with fresh, summer foods such as sushi, refreshing salads, delicious seafood and fruity summertime desserts.
Derived terms[edit]


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

  1. (intransitive) To become red in the face (and sometimes experience an associated feeling of warmth), especially due to shyness, shame, excitement, or embarrassment.
    The love scene made him blush to the roots of his hair / to the tips of his ears.
    He wasn't used to this much attention, so he blushed as he saw dozens of pairs of eyes watching him.
  2. (intransitive, figuratively) To be ashamed or embarrassed (to do something).
    • 1712 (date written), [Joseph] Addison, Cato, a Tragedy. [], London: [] J[acob] Tonson, [], published 1713, →OCLC, Act V, scene iv, page 53:
      While Cato lives, Caesar will blush to see
      Mankind enslaved, and be ashamed of Empire.
    • 1849, Henry Bibb, chapter 6, in Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, An American Slave[8], New York: for the author, page 50:
      He never blushed to rob a slave mother of her children, no matter how young or small.
    • 1908, Jack London, chapter 17, in The Iron Heel[9], New York: The Macmillan Company:
      [] in this enlightened age, we have much to blush for in the acts of our ancestors.
  3. (intransitive) To become red.
  4. (transitive) To suffuse with a blush; to redden; to make rosy.
  5. (copulative) 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.
  6. (transitive) To express or make known by blushing.
    Looking at me with a knowing glare, she blushed her discomfort with the situation.
  7. (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.
  8. (intransitive, obsolete) To glance with the eye, cast a glance.
  9. (aviation, intransitive) Of dope or varnish: to develop an undesirable white precipitate on the surface, due to being applied in humid conditions.
    • 1966, Aviation Structural Mechanic S 3 & 2, United States. Bureau of Naval Personnel, page 219:
      Blushing is caused by doping under high relative humidity conditions.
    • 1999, Dale Crane, Fast-Track Test Guides for Aviation Maintenance: Airframe, page 147:
      Why is retarder used in dope when the dope is being sprayed in humid conditions? The retarder slows the drying of the dope and keeps it from blushing.
Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Unknown; attested in the late 15th century.


blush (plural blushes)

  1. The collective noun for a group of boys.[1]
    A blush of boys.
    • 1962, Bette Davis, chapter 3, in The Lonely Life: An Autobiography,[14], New York: Putnam, page 46:
      I took the Red Cross senior lifesaving test, the one girl in a blush of boys taking the course.
    • 2001, Jamie O’Neill, At Swim, Two Boys[15], London: Simon & Schuster UK, published 2002, page 322:
      He had come with his own blush of boys. All afternoon they had shimmered upon the lawns.
Usage notes[edit]

This is probably a fanciful expression and has never been in common use.


  1. ^ The 1986 Oxford Reference Dictionary, Appendix, cites The Book of Saint Albans, circa 1486, attributed to Juliana Berners, in which “a Blusshe of boyes” appears in an extensive list of collective nouns.[1]




Borrowed from English blush.



blush m (plural blushs)

  1. blush (makeup used to redden the cheeks)
    • 1999, Anna Gavalda, “The Opel Touch”, in Je voudrais que quelqu'un m'attende quelque part:
      C’est mon petit boulot, ma tune, mes clopes, mes expressos, mes virées nocturnes, ma lingerie fine, mon Guerlain, mes folies de blush, mes livres de poche, mon cinoche.
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)



Unadapted borrowing from English blush.


  • (Brazil) IPA(key): /ˈblɐʃ/, /ˈblɐ.ʃi/
    • (Southern Brazil) IPA(key): /ˈblɐʃ/, /ˈblɐ.ʃe/


blush m (uncountable)

  1. blush (makeup used to redden the cheeks)