verb (used without object)

  1. to redden, as from embarrassment or shame: He blushed when they called him a conquering hero.
  2. to feel shame or embarrassment (often followed by at or for): Your behavior makes me blush for your poor mother.
  3. (of the sky, flowers, etc.) to become rosy.
  4. (of new house paint or lacquer) to become cloudy or dull through moisture or excessive evaporation of solvents.

verb (used with object)

  1. to make red; flush.
  2. to make known by a blush: She could not help blushing the truth.


  1. a reddening, as of the face.
  2. rosy or pinkish tinge.
  3. blusher(def 2).
  4. Also called blush wine, rosé.
  1. at first blush, without previous knowledge or adequate consideration; at first glance: At first blush, the solution to the problem seemed simple enough.


  1. (intr) to become suddenly red in the face from embarrassment, shame, modesty, or guilt; redden
  2. to make or become reddish or rosy


  1. a sudden reddening of the face from embarrassment, shame, modesty, or guilt
  2. a rosy glowthe blush of a peach
  3. a reddish or pinkish tinge
  4. a cloudy area on the surface of freshly applied gloss paint
  5. at first blush when first seen; as a first impression

mid-14c., bluschen, blischen, probably from Old English blyscan “blush, become red, glow” (glossing Latin rutilare), akin to blyse “torch,” from Proto-Germanic *blisk- “to shine, burn,” which also yielded words in Low German (e.g. Dutch blozen “to blush”) and Scandinavian (e.g. Danish blusse “to blaze; to blush”); ultimately from PIE *bhel- (1) “to shine, flash, burn” (see bleach (v.)).

For vowel evolution, see bury. Earliest recorded senses were “to shine brightly; to look, stare.” Sense of “turn red in the face” (with shame, modesty, etc.) is from c.1400. Related: Blushed; blushing.


mid-14c., “a look, a glance” (sense preserved in at first blush), also “a gleam, a gleaming” (late 14c.), from blush (v.). As “a reddening of the face” from 1590s. Meaning “a rosy color” is 1590s.


  1. A sudden and brief redness of the face and neck due to emotion; flush.

see at first blush.

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