1. a bright flame or fire: the welcome blaze of the hearth.
  2. a bright, hot gleam or glow: the blaze of day.
  3. a sparkling brightness: a blaze of jewels.
  4. a sudden, intense outburst, as of fire, passion, or fury: to unleash a blaze of pent-up emotions; a blaze of glory.
  5. blazes, Informal. hell: Go to blazes!

verb (used without object), blazed, blaz·ing.

  1. to burn brightly (sometimes followed by away, up, forth): The bonfire blazed away for hours. The dry wood blazed up at the touch of a match.
  2. to shine like flame (sometimes followed by forth): Their faces blazed with enthusiasm.
  3. to burn with intense feeling or passion (sometimes followed by up): He blazed up at the insult.
  4. to shoot steadily or continuously (usually followed by away): The contestants blazed away at the clay pigeons.
  5. to be brilliantly conspicuous.


  1. a spot or mark made on a tree, as by painting or notching or by chipping away a piece of the bark, to indicate a trail or boundary.
  2. a white area down the center of the face of a horse, cow, etc.

verb (used with object), blazed, blaz·ing.

  1. to mark with blazes: to blaze a trail.
  2. to lead in forming or finding (a new method, course, etc.): His research in rocketry blazed the way for space travel.

verb (used with object), blazed, blaz·ing.

  1. to make known; proclaim; publish: Headlines blazed the shocking news.
  2. Obsolete. to blow, as from a trumpet.


  1. a strong fire or flame
  2. a very bright light or glare
  3. an outburst (of passion, acclaim, patriotism, etc)
  4. brilliance; brightness

verb (intr)

  1. to burn fiercely
  2. to shine brightly
  3. (often foll by up) to become stirred, as with anger or excitement
  4. (usually foll by away) to shoot continuously


  1. a mark, usually indicating a path, made on a tree, esp by chipping off the bark
  2. a light-coloured marking on the face of a domestic animal, esp a horse

verb (tr)

  1. to indicate or mark (a tree, path, etc) with a blaze
  2. blaze a trail to explore new territories, areas of knowledge, etc, in such a way that others can follow


  1. (tr often foll by abroad) to make widely known; proclaim

“bright flame, fire,” Old English blæse “a torch, flame, firebrand, lamp,” from Proto-Germanic *blas- “shining, white” (cf. Old Saxon blas “white, whitish,” Middle High German blas “bald,” originally “white, shining,” Old High German blas-ros “horse with a white spot,” Middle Dutch and Dutch bles, German Blesse “white spot,” blass “pale, whitish”), from PIE root *bhel- (1) “to shine, flash, burn” (see bleach (v.)).


“light-colored mark or spot,” 1630s, northern English dialect, probably from Old Norse blesi “white spot on a horse’s face” (from the same root as blaze (n.1)). A Low German cognate of the Norse word also has been suggested as the source. Applied 1660s in American English to marks cut on tree trunks to indicate a track; thus the verb meaning “to mark a trail;” first recorded 1750, American English. Related: Blazed; blazing.


“make public” (often in a bad sense, boastfully), late 14c., perhaps from Middle Dutch blasen “to blow” (on a trumpet), from Proto-Germanic *blaes-an (cf. German blasen, Gothic -blesan), from PIE *bhle-, variant of root *bhel- (2) “to blow, inflate, swell” (see bole).


“to burn brightly or vigorously,” c.1200, from blaze (n.1). Related: Blazed; blazing.


“to mark” (a tree, a trail), 1750, American English; see blaze (n.2).

In addition to the idiom beginning with blaze

  • blaze a trail

also see:

  • hot as blazes
  • like greased lightning (blazes)

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