AskDefine | Define blueness

Dictionary Definition

blueness n : the color of the clear sky in the daytime; "he had eyes of bright blue" [syn: blue]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The characteristic of being blue.

Extensive Definition

Blue is a colour, the perception of which is evoked by light having a spectrum dominated by energy with a wavelength of roughly 440–490 nm. It is considered one of the additive primary colours. On the HSV Colour Wheel, the complement of blue is yellow; that is, a colour corresponding to an equal mixture of red and green light. On a colour wheel based on traditional colour theory (RYB), the complementary colour to blue is considered to be orange (based on the Munsell colour wheel).
The English language commonly uses "blue" to refer to any colour from navy blue to cyan. The word itself is derived from the Old French word bleu.

Etymology and definitions

The modern English word blue comes from the Middle English, bleu or blwe, which came from an Old French word bleu of Germanic origin (Frankish or possibly Old High German blao, "shining"). Bleu replaced Old English blaw. The root of these variations was the Proto-Germanic blæwaz, which was also the root of the Old Norse word bla and the modern Icelandic blár, and the Scandinavian word blå, but it can refer to other colours. A Scots and Scottish English word for "blue-grey" is blae, from the Middle English bla ("dark blue," from the Old English blæd). Ancient Greek lacked a word for colour blue and Homer called the colour of the sea "wine dark", except that the word kyanos was used for dark blue enamel.
As a curiosity, blue is thought to be cognate with blond and black through the Germanic word. Through a Proto-Indo-European root, it is also linked with Latin flavus ("yellow"; see flavescent and flavine), with Greek phalos (white), French blanc (white) (loaned from Old Frankish), and with Russian белый, belyi ("white," see beluga), and Welsh blawr (grey) all of which derive (according to the American Heritage Dictionary) from the Proto-Indo-European root *bhel- meaning "to shine, flash or burn", (more specifically the word bhle-was, which meant light coloured, blue, blond, or yellow), whence came the names of various bright colours, and that of colour black from a derivation meaning "burnt" (other words derived from the root bhel- include bleach, bleak, blind, blink, blank, blush, blaze, flame, fulminate, flagrant and phlegm).
In the English language, blue may refer to the feeling of sadness. "He was feeling blue". This is because blue was related to rain, or storms, and in Greek mythology, the god Zeus would make rain when he was sad (crying), and a storm when he was angry. Kyanos was a name used in Ancient Greek to refer to dark blue tile (in English it means blue-green).
Many languages do not have separate terms for blue and or green, instead using a cover term for both (when the issue is discussed in linguistics, this cover term is sometimes called grue in English). Blue is commonly used on internet browsers to colour a link that has not been clicked; when a link has been clicked it changes yellow or orange or purple.

In science


Traditionally, blue has been considered a primary colour in painting, with the secondary colour orange as its complement.
Blue pigments include azurite, ultramarine, cerulean blue, cobalt blue, and Prussian blue (milori blue).

Scientific natural standards for blue

  • Emission spectrum of Cu2+
  • Electronic spectrum of aqua-ions Cu(H2O)52+


  • When an animal's coat is described as "blue", it refers to a shade of grey that takes on a bluish tint, a diluted variant of a pure black coat. This designation is used for a variety of animals, including dog coats, some rat coats, cat coats, some chicken breeds, and some horse coat colours.

Blue in human culture


  • Blue often represents the human emotion of sadness, e.g. "He was feeling blue".


  • The blues is a style of music originated by African Americans. Contrary to popular belief it is not called Blues because its lyrics are depressing but because its scale is inclusive of the "dark notes" or blue notes.
  • In 1999 Eiffel 65 released the song "Blue (Da Ba Dee)," a hugely popular Eurodance song which peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, and reached #1 in 17 countries.
  • Blue is also the name of an English pop boy band consisting of four members: Lee Ryan, Duncan James, Antony Costa, and Simon Webbe.

National colours



  • Blue has been associated with a variety of political positions, often differentiated from communist red or anarchist black. During the revolt in the Vendée against the French revolution, blues stood for the revolutionary forces, and white for the counter-revolutionaries. Later movements like the Breton blues used the colour to signify allegiance to the ideals of the revolution.


  • Blue in Judaism: In the Torah, the Israelites were commanded to put fringes, tzitzit, on the corners of their garments, and to weave within these fringes a "twisted thread of blue (tekhelet)". In ancient days, this blue thread was made from a dye extracted from a Mediterranean snail called the hilazon. Maimonides claimed that this blue was the colour of “the clear noonday sky”; Rashi, the colour of the evening sky. According to several rabbinic sages, blue is the colour of God’s Glory. Staring at this colour aids in mediation, bringing us a glimpse of the “pavement of sapphire, like the very sky for purity”, which is a likeness of the Throne of God. (The Hebrew word for glory.) Many items in the Mishkan, the portable sanctuary in the wilderness, such as the menorah, many of the vessels, and the Ark of the Covenant, were covered with blue cloth when transported from place to place.


  • In Thailand, blue is associated with Friday on the Thai solar calendar. Anyone may wear blue on Fridays and anyone born on a Friday may adopt blue as their colour. The Thai language, however, is one that has had trouble distinguishing blue from green. The default word for Blue was recently สีน้ำเงิน literally, the colour of silver, a poetical reference to the silvery sheen of the deep blue sea. It now means Navy Blue, and the default word is now สีฟ้า literally, the colour of the sky.
They took the blue from the skies And the pretty girls' eyes And a touch of Old Glory too; And gave it to the men who proudly wear the U. S. Air Force Blue!


External links

web colors colour
blueness in Afrikaans: Blou (kleur)
blueness in Arabic: أزرق
blueness in Aragonese: Azul
blueness in Official Aramaic (700-300 BCE): ܙܪܩܐ
blueness in Asturian: Azul
blueness in Guarani: Hovy
blueness in Aymara: Larama
blueness in Azerbaijani: Mavi
blueness in Min Nan: Nâ-sek
blueness in Banyumasan: Biru
blueness in Bosnian: Plava
blueness in Bulgarian: Син цвят
blueness in Catalan: Blau
blueness in Czech: Modrá
blueness in Welsh: Glas
blueness in Danish: Blå
blueness in Pennsylvania German: Bloh
blueness in German: Blau
blueness in Estonian: Sinine
blueness in Modern Greek (1453-): Μπλε
blueness in Erzya: Сэнь
blueness in Spanish: Azul
blueness in Esperanto: Blua
blueness in Basque: Urdin
blueness in Persian: آبی
blueness in French: Bleu
blueness in Irish: Gorm
blueness in Gan Chinese: 藍
blueness in Galician: Azul
blueness in Korean: 파랑
blueness in Hindi: नीला
blueness in Croatian: Plava
blueness in Indonesian: Biru
blueness in Icelandic: Blár
blueness in Italian: Blu
blueness in Hebrew: כחול
blueness in Javanese: Biru
blueness in Pampanga: Iro
blueness in Haitian: Ble (koulè)
blueness in Kurdish: Şîn
blueness in Latin: Caeruleus
blueness in Luxembourgish: Blo
blueness in Lithuanian: Mėlyna
blueness in Lingala: Bozinga
blueness in Hungarian: Kék
blueness in Maltese: Ikħal
blueness in Malay (macrolanguage): Biru
blueness in Dutch: Blauw
blueness in Japanese: 青
blueness in Chechen: Сийна
blueness in Norwegian: Blå
blueness in Norwegian Nynorsk: Blå
blueness in Narom: Bliu
blueness in Low German: Blau
blueness in Polish: Barwa niebieska
blueness in Portuguese: Azul
blueness in Romanian: Albastru
blueness in Quechua: Anqas
blueness in Russian: Синий цвет
blueness in Sanskrit: नील
blueness in Scots: Blue
blueness in Simple English: Blue
blueness in Slovak: Modrá
blueness in Slovenian: Modra
blueness in Serbian: Плава боја
blueness in Serbo-Croatian: Plavo
blueness in Finnish: Sininen
blueness in Swedish: Blå
blueness in Tagalog: Asul
blueness in Tamil: நீலம்
blueness in Telugu: నీలము
blueness in Thai: สีน้ำเงิน
blueness in Vietnamese: Xanh lam
blueness in Tajik: Кабуд
blueness in Turkish: Mavi
blueness in Ukrainian: Синій колір
blueness in Urdu: نیلا
blueness in Wolof: Baxa
blueness in Yiddish: בלוי
blueness in Contenese: 藍
blueness in Chinese: 藍色
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