Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


“Hanging to a beam across the dam he blew up,” was the remorseless response.

The wind fluttered to the east and blew up a thickening fog.

They are the Germans who blew up factories, set fires, scuttled ships.

Soon after the "Merlin" blew up, and the defeat of the British was complete.

Why not charge me for the gunpowder you blew up Little with, and spoiled my forge?

The little boy that blew up our stove was there with his mother.

The Tonnerre was also set on fire by her own officers and crew, and blew up.

It blew up tearingly from the south and there was menace in it and madness.

When she had been left about four leagues astern, she blew up.

The Congress at last struck her colours, but during the night she blew up.


"move air," Old English blawan "blow, breathe, make an air current; kindle; inflate; sound a wind instrument" (class VII strong verb; past tense bleow, past participle blawen), from Proto-Germanic *blæ-anan (cf. Old High German blaen, German blähen), from PIE *bhle- "to swell, blow up" (cf. Latin flare "to blow"), possibly identical with *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell" (see bole).

Meaning "to squander" (of money) is from 1874. Sense of "depart suddenly" is from 1902. Slang "do fellatio on" sense is from 1933, as blow (someone) off, originally among prostitutes (cf. blow job). This usage probably is not connected to the colloquial imprecation (1781, associated with sailors, e.g. Popeye's "well, blow me down!"), which has past participle blowed. Meaning "to spend (money) foolishly and all at once" is 1890s; that of "bungle an opportunity" is from 1943. To blow over "pass" is from 1610s, originally of storms. To blow (someone's) mind was in use by 1967; there is a song title "Blow Your Mind" released in a 1965 Mirawood recording by a group called The Gas Company.

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.