verb (used without object)
- to redden, as from embarrassment or shame: He blushed when they called him a conquering hero.
- to feel shame or embarrassment (often followed by at or for): Your behavior makes me blush for your poor mother.
- (of the sky, flowers, etc.) to become rosy.
- (of new house paint or lacquer) to become cloudy or dull through moisture or excessive evaporation of solvents.
verb (used with object)
- to make red; flush.
- to make known by a blush: She could not help blushing the truth.
- at first blush, without previous knowledge or adequate consideration; at first glance: At first blush, the solution to the problem seemed simple enough.
- (intr) to become suddenly red in the face from embarrassment, shame, modesty, or guilt; redden
- to make or become reddish or rosy
- a sudden reddening of the face from embarrassment, shame, modesty, or guilt
- a rosy glowthe blush of a peach
- a reddish or pinkish tinge
- a cloudy area on the surface of freshly applied gloss paint
- 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.
- A sudden and brief redness of the face and neck due to emotion; flush.
see at first blush.