blow 1 (blō)
v. blew (blo͞o), blown (blōn), blow·ing, blows
a. To be in a state of motion. Used of the air or of wind.
b. To move along or be carried by the wind: Her hat blew away.
c. To move with or have strong winds: The storm blew all night.
a. To expel a current of air, as from the mouth or from a bellows.
b. To produce a sound by expelling a current of air, as in sounding a wind instrument or a whistle.
c. To breathe hard; pant.
d. To release air or gas suddenly; burst or explode: The tire blew when it hit the pothole.
e. To spout moist air from the blowhole. Used of a whale.
a. To fail or break down, as from being operated under extreme or improper conditions: The furnace blew during the cold snap.
b. To melt or otherwise become disabled. Used of a fuse.
a. Informal To move very fast in relation to something: The boy blew past the stands on his bike.
b. Slang To go away; depart: It's time to blow.
5. Informal To boast.
6. Vulgar Slang To be disgustingly disagreeable or offensive: This movie blows.
a. To cause to move by means of a current of air: The wind blew the boat out to sea.
b. To drive a current of air on, in, or through: blew my hair dry after I shampooed it.
c. To clear out or make free of obstruction by forcing air through: blew his nose all through allergy season.
d. To shape or form (glass, for example) by forcing air or gas through at the end of a pipe.
a. To expel (air) from the mouth.
b. To cause air or gas to be expelled suddenly from: We blew a tire when we drove over the rock.
a. To cause (a wind instrument) to sound.
b. To sound: a bugle blowing taps.
a. To cause to be out of breath.
b. To allow (a winded horse) to regain its breath.
5. To demolish by the force of an explosion: An artillery shell blew our headquarters apart.
6. To lay or deposit eggs in. Used of certain insects.
a. To cause to fail or break down, as by operating at extreme or improper conditions: blew the engine on the last lap.
b. To cause (a fuse) to melt or become disabled.
8. Slang a.
To spend (money) freely and rashly. See Synonyms at waste
b. To spend money freely on; treat: blew me to a sumptuous dinner.
9. a. Slang
To spoil or lose through ineptitude: blew the audition; blew a three-goal lead.
See Synonyms at botch
b. To cause (a covert intelligence operation or operative) to be revealed and thereby jeopardized: a story in the press that blew their cover; an agent who was blown by the opposition.
a. Slang To depart (a place) in a great hurry: Let's blow this city no later than noon.
b. Baseball To throw (a pitch) so fast that a batter cannot swing fast enough to hit it: blew a fastball by the batter for the strikeout.
11. Vulgar Slang To perform fellatio on.
1. The act or an instance of blowing.
a. A blast of air or wind.
b. A storm.
3. Informal An act of bragging.
4. Slang Cocaine.
blow away Slang
1. To kill by shooting, especially with a firearm.
2. To defeat decisively.
3. To affect intensely; overwhelm: That concert blew me away.
blow in Slang
To arrive, especially when unexpected.
1. To relieve or release (pressure); let off.
2. Slang To choose not to attend or accompany: They wanted us to come along, but we blew them off.
1. To extinguish or be extinguished by a gust of air: blow out a candle.
2. To fail, as an electrical apparatus.
3. To erupt in an uncontrolled manner. Used of a gas or oil well.
4. To defeat decisively, as in a sport.
To subside, wane, or pass over with little lasting effect: The storm blew over quickly. The scandal will soon blow over.
1. To come into being: A storm blew up.
2. To fill with air; inflate: blow up a tire.
3. To enlarge (a photographic image or print).
4. To explode: bombs blowing up.
5. To lose one's temper.
blow a fuse/gasket Slang
To explode with anger.
blow hot and cold
To change one's opinion often on a matter; vacillate.
blow off steam
To give vent to pent-up emotion.
blow (one's) cool Slang
To lose one's composure.
blow (one's) mind Slang
To affect with intense emotion, such as amazement, excitement, or shock.
blow (one's) top/stack Informal
To lose one's temper.
To get a sudden, insurmountable lead in (an athletic contest).
blow out of proportion
To make more of than is reasonable; exaggerate.
1. To speak deceptively.
2. To brag or exaggerate.
blow 2 (blō)
1. A sudden hard stroke or hit, as with the fist or an object.
2. An unexpected shock or calamity.
3. An unexpected attack; an assault.
[Middle English blaw.]
blow 3 (blō)
intr. & tr.v. blew (blo͞o)
, blown (blōn)
To bloom or cause to bloom.
1. A mass of blossoms: peach blow.
2. The state of blossoming: tulips in full blow.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. to explode or cause to explode
2. (tr) to increase the importance of (something): they blew the whole affair up.
3. (intr) to come into consideration: we lived well enough before this thing blew up.
4. (intr) to come into existence with sudden force: a storm had blown up.
5. informal to lose one's temper (with a person)
6. (tr) informal to reprimand (someone)
7. (Photography) (tr) informal to enlarge the size or detail of (a photograph)
8. an explosion
9. (Photography) informal an enlarged photograph or part of a photograph
10. informal a fit of temper or argument
11. informal Also called: blowing up a reprimand
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
explode blow up
When a bomb explodes, it bursts loudly and with great force, often causing a lot of damage.
A bomb had exploded in the next street.
You can say that someone explodes a bomb.
They exploded a nuclear device.
2. 'blow up'
However, if someone destroys a building with a bomb, don't say that they 'explode' the building. You say that they blow it up.
He was going to blow the place up.
inflate blow up
If you inflate something such as a tyre, balloon, or airbed, you fill it full of air or gas.
...a rubber dinghy that took half an hour to inflate.
2. 'blow up'
Inflate is a formal or technical word. In conversation, you usually say that you blow up a tyre, balloon, or airbed.
She blew up the airbed.
She would buy her son a dinghy and a pump to blow it up.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012