Meaning of BLOW in English


I. blow 1 S2 W3 /bləʊ $ bloʊ/ BrE AmE verb ( past tense blew /bluː/, past participle blown /bləʊn $ bloʊn/)

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: blawan ]

1 . WIND MOVING [intransitive and transitive] if the wind or a current of air blows, it moves:

A cold breeze was blowing hard.

It was blowing from an easterly direction.

Outside, the weather was blowing a gale.

2 . WIND MOVING SOMETHING [intransitive, transitive usually + adverb/preposition] to move, or to move something, by the force of the wind or a current of air:

Her hair was blowing in the breeze.

The wind blew the rain into our faces.

My ticket blew away.

blow (something) open/shut

A sudden draught blew the door shut.

3 . AIR FROM YOUR MOUTH [intransitive, transitive always + adverb/preposition] to send air out from your mouth

blow (something) into/onto/out etc

She blew onto her coffee to cool it down.

He blew the smoke right in my face.

4 . MAKE A NOISE [intransitive and transitive] to make a sound by passing air through a whistle, horn etc:

The whistle blew for half time.

A truck went by and blew its horn at her.

5 . VIOLENCE [transitive always + adverb/preposition] to damage or destroy something violently with an explosion or by shooting

blow something away/out/off something

Part of his leg had been blown off.

blow somebody/something to pieces/bits/smithereens

A bomb like that could blow you to bits.

6 . LOSE AN OPPORTUNITY [transitive] informal to lose a good opportunity by making a mistake or by being careless:

We’ve blown our chances of getting that contract.

You’ve got a great future ahead of you. Don’t blow it.

7 . WASTE MONEY [transitive] informal to spend a lot of money in a careless way, especially on one thing:

I blew all the money I won on a trip to Hawaii.

8 . blow your nose to clean your nose by forcing air through it into a cloth or a piece of soft paper

9 . blow somebody a kiss to kiss your hand and then pretend to blow the kiss towards someone:

She leant out of the window and blew him a kiss.

10 . ELECTRICITY STOPS [intransitive and transitive] if an electrical ↑ fuse blows, or a piece of electrical equipment blows a fuse, the electricity suddenly stops working because a thin wire has melted:

The floodlights blew a fuse.

11 . TYRE [intransitive and transitive] if a tyre blows, or if a car blows a tyre, it bursts

12 . MAKE A SHAPE [transitive] to make or shape something by sending air out from your mouth:

The kids were blowing bubbles in the backyard.

blow glass (=shape glass by blowing into it when it is very hot and soft)

13 . SURPRISE/ANNOYANCE blow/blow me/blow it etc British English spoken said to show annoyance or surprise:

Blow it! I forgot to phone Jane.

Blow me down if she didn’t just run off!

Well, I’m blowed!

14 . TELL A SECRET [transitive] to make known something that was meant to be a secret:

Your coming here has blown the whole operation.

blow sb’s cover (=make known what someone’s real job or name is)

It would only take one phone call to blow his cover.

15 . blow sb’s mind spoken to make you feel very surprised and excited by something:

Seeing her again really blew my mind.

⇨ ↑ mind-blowing

16 . blow your top/stack/cool ( also blow a fuse/gasket ) informal to become extremely angry quickly or suddenly:

One day, I just blew my top and hit him.

17 . blow the whistle on somebody informal to tell someone in authority about something wrong that someone is doing:

He blew the whistle on his colleagues.

⇨ ↑ whistle-blower

18 . blow something (up) out of (all) proportion to make something seem much more serious or important than it is

19 . blow your own trumpet especially BrE, blow your own horn American English informal to talk a lot about your own achievements – used to show disapproval:

Dave spent the whole evening blowing his own trumpet.

20 . blow somebody/something out of the water to defeat someone or something that you are competing with, or to achieve much more than they do:

Motown had blown all the other record companies out of the water.

21 . blow hot and cold British English informal to keep changing your attitude towards someone or something

22 . blow something sky-high British English to destroy an idea, plan etc by showing that it cannot be true or effective:

This new information blows his theory sky-high.

blow sb↔ away phrasal verb especially American English informal

1 . to make someone feel very surprised, especially about something they like or admire:

It just blows me away, the way everyone’s so friendly round here.

2 . to kill someone by shooting them with a gun

3 . to defeat someone completely, especially in a game:

Nancy blew away the rest of the skaters.

blow down phrasal verb

if the wind blows something down, or if something blows down, the wind makes it fall:

The garden gate has blown down.

blow something ↔ down

Several trees were blown down in the night.

blow in phrasal verb

1 . ( also blow into something ) informal to arrive in a place, especially suddenly:

Jim blew in about an hour ago.

Guess who’s just blown into town?

2 . if a storm or bad weather blows in, it arrives and begins to affect a particular area:

The first snowstorm blew in from the north.

blow somebody/something ↔ off phrasal verb American English informal

1 . to treat someone or something as unimportant, for example by not meeting someone or not going to an event:

Bud got into trouble for blowing off the meeting.

2 . blow the lid off something to make known something that was secret, especially something involving important or famous people:

Her book blew the lid off the Reagan years.

3 . blow sb’s head off to kill someone by shooting them in the head

4 . blow off steam American English to get rid of anger or energy by doing something SYN let off steam British English :

I went jogging to blow off some steam.

blow out phrasal verb

1 . if you blow a flame or a fire out, or if it blows out, it stops burning:

The match blew out in the wind.

blow something ↔ out

Blow out all the candles.

2 . if a tyre blows out, it bursts

3 . blow itself out if a storm blows itself out, it ends

4 . blow your/sb’s brains out to kill yourself, or someone else, with a shot to the head

5 . blow somebody ↔ out American English spoken to easily defeat someone:

We blew them out 28–0.

6 . American English if you blow out your knee or another joint in your body, or if it blows out, you injure it badly

7 . if an oil or gas ↑ well blows out, oil or gas suddenly escapes from it

8 . blow somebody ↔ out to stop having a friendship or relationship with someone

blow over phrasal verb

1 . if the wind blows something over, or if something blows over, the wind makes it fall:

Our fence blew over in the storm.

blow something ↔ over

The hurricane blew some palm trees over.

2 . if an argument or unpleasant situation blows over, it ends or is forgotten:

They weren’t speaking to each other, but I think it’s blown over now.

3 . if a storm blows over, it goes away

blow up phrasal verb

1 . to destroy something, or to be destroyed, by an explosion:

The plane blew up in midair.

blow something ↔ up

Rebels attempted to blow up the bridge.

2 . blow something ↔ up to fill something with air or gas:

Can you blow up this balloon?

We’ll blow the tyres up.

3 . if a situation, argument etc blows up, it suddenly becomes important or dangerous:

A crisis had blown up over the peace talks.

4 . blow something ↔ up if you blow up a photograph, you make it larger SYN enlarge

5 . informal to become very angry with someone:

Jenny’s father blew up when she didn’t come home last night.

blow up at

I was surprised at the way he blew up at Hardy.

6 . if bad weather blows up, it suddenly arrives:

It looks as if there’s a storm blowing up.

7 . blow up in sb’s face if something you have done or planned to do blows up in your face, it suddenly goes wrong:

One of his deals had just blown up in his face.

• • •


▪ spend to use money to buy things:

I bought two skirts and a T-shirt and I only spent $50.


How much do you spend a week on food?

▪ go through something ( also get through something British English ) to spend all of an amount of money over a period of time – used especially when saying that someone spends a lot of money:

I got through all my money in less than a month, and had to get my parents to send me more.

▪ go to great expense to spend a lot of money in order to do something, because you think it is important or special:

The party was wonderful – they had obviously gone to great expense.


There’s no need to go to great expense.

▪ squander /ˈskwɒndə $ ˈskwɑːndər/ to waste money on unnecessary things, instead of saving it or using it carefully:

His son had squandered the family fortune on gambling and women.

▪ splash out British English informal to spend a lot of money on something you really want or will enjoy:

Let’s splash out on a bottle of champagne.


People often splash out for Christmas and then regret it later.

▪ blow informal to spend a lot of money on something, especially on something that you do not really need:

Her husband blew all their savings on a new sports car.

▪ economize to spend less money:

We’re trying to economize by eating at home instead of going out for meals.

II. blow 2 S3 W3 BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Sense 1-2, 4-6: Date: 1400-1500 ; Origin: Origin unknown. ]

[ Sense 3: Date: 1600-1700 ; Origin: ⇨ ↑ blow 1 ]

1 . BAD EFFECT an action or event that causes difficulty or sadness for someone:

Joe resigned, which was a severe blow because we needed him desperately.

His mother’s death was a shattering blow.

The election result dealt a further blow to the party.

The factory closures came as a blow to the local economy.

The final blow for many firms was the government’s abolition of import duties.

2 . HARD HIT a hard hit with someone’s hand, a tool, or a weapon:

She died from a heavy blow to the head.

He struck a blow which threw her to the floor.

Martin received a blow on the nose.

He had been struck a glancing blow (=a blow that did not hit him directly) by the car.

blow to

He gave her a violent blow to the head.


In everyday English, people usually say that someone gets hit or that something hits them, rather than using the noun blow :

▪ He received a blow to the head. ➔ He got hit on the head.

3 . BLOWING an action of blowing:

One big blow and the candles were out.

4 . come to blows (with somebody) if two people come to blows, they start arguing or hitting each other because they disagree about something

come to blows (with somebody) over

They almost came to blows over the money.

5 . soften/cushion the blow to make something unpleasant easier for someone to accept:

A reduction in interest rates would soften the blow of tax increases.

6 . low blow American English informal something unkind you say to deliberately embarrass or upset someone

⇨ strike a blow for somebody/something at ↑ strike 1 (13)

• • •



▪ a big/major/serious/heavy blow

The earthquake was a serious blow to the area’s tourism industry.

▪ a severe/terrible/awful blow

The news was a terrible blow for his family.

▪ a bitter blow (=extremely disappointing)

Their defeat was a bitter blow.

▪ a cruel/devastating/crushing blow (=extremely hard to bear)

Her loss came as a devastating blow to her father.

▪ a body blow (=a very serious difficulty which could cause something to fail completely)

A tax on books would be a body blow for education.

▪ a mortal/fatal/death blow (=causing something to end)

When he quit it dealt a mortal blow to the show.

■ verbs

▪ be a blow

I can’t deny his leaving was a blow.

▪ deal a blow to somebody/something

The 1982 drought dealt a devastating blow to the country.

▪ come as a blow to somebody

His sudden death came as a huge blow to us all.

▪ deliver a blow

Opinion polls delivered a nasty blow to the Tory leader.

▪ suffer/receive a blow

Our team suffered a blow when Paul was sent off the field.

▪ soften/cushion the blow (=make it easier to deal with)

There are various ways to soften the blow of redundancy among staff.

■ phrases

▪ be a bit of a blow British English especially spoken (=be disappointing or cause problems for you)

The result was a bit of a blow for the team.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.