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blue devils definitions

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

n
1: a state of depression; "he had a bad case of the blues" [syn: blues, blue devils, megrims, vapors, vapours]

Merriam Webster's

noun plural Date: 1781 low spirits ; despondency

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Devil Dev"il, n. [AS. de['o]fol, de['o]ful; akin to G. ?eufel, Goth. diaba['u]lus; all fr. L. diabolus the devil, Gr. ? the devil, the slanderer, fr. ? to slander, calumniate, orig., to throw across; ? across + ? to throw, let fall, fall; cf. Skr. gal to fall. Cf. Diabolic.] 1. The Evil One; Satan, represented as the tempter and spiritual of mankind. [Jesus] being forty days tempted of the devil. --Luke iv. 2. That old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world. --Rev. xii. 9. 2. An evil spirit; a demon. A dumb man possessed with a devil. --Matt. ix. 32. 3. A very wicked person; hence, any great evil. ``That devil Glendower.'' ``The devil drunkenness.'' --Shak. Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? --John vi. 70. 4. An expletive of surprise, vexation, or emphasis, or, ironically, of negation. [Low] The devil a puritan that he is, . . . but a timepleaser. --Shak. The things, we know, are neither rich nor rare, But wonder how the devil they got there. --Pope. 5. (Cookery) A dish, as a bone with the meat, broiled and excessively peppered; a grill with Cayenne pepper. Men and women busy in baking, broiling, roasting oysters, and preparing devils on the gridiron. --Sir W. Scott. 6. (Manuf.) A machine for tearing or cutting rags, cotton, etc. Blue devils. See under Blue. Cartesian devil. See under Cartesian. Devil bird (Zo["o]l.), one of two or more South African drongo shrikes (Edolius retifer, and E. remifer), believed by the natives to be connected with sorcery. Devil may care, reckless, defiant of authority; -- used adjectively. --Longfellow. Devil's apron (Bot.), the large kelp (Laminaria saccharina, and L. longicruris) of the Atlantic ocean, having a blackish, leathery expansion, shaped somewhat like an apron. Devil's coachhorse. (Zo["o]l.) (a) The black rove beetle (Ocypus olens). [Eng.] (b) A large, predacious, hemipterous insect (Prionotus cristatus); the wheel bug. [U.S.] Devil's darning-needle. (Zo["o]l.) See under Darn, v. t. Devil's fingers, Devil's hand (Zo["o]l.), the common British starfish (Asterias rubens); -- also applied to a sponge with stout branches. [Prov. Eng., Irish & Scot.] Devil's riding-horse (Zo["o]l.), the American mantis (Mantis Carolina). The Devil's tattoo, a drumming with the fingers or feet. ``Jack played the Devil's tattoo on the door with his boot heels.'' --F. Hardman (Blackw. Mag.). Devil worship, worship of the power of evil; -- still practiced by barbarians who believe that the good and evil forces of nature are of equal power. Printer's devil, the youngest apprentice in a printing office, who runs on errands, does dirty work (as washing the ink rollers and sweeping), etc. ``Without fearing the printer's devil or the sheriff's officer.'' --Macaulay. Tasmanian devil (Zo["o]l.), a very savage carnivorous marsupial of Tasmania (Dasyurus, or Diabolus, ursinus). To play devil with, to molest extremely; to ruin. [Low]

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Blue Blue, a. [Compar. Bluer; superl. Bluest.] [OE. bla, blo, blew, blue, Sw. bl?, D. blauw, OHG. bl?o, G. blau; but influenced in form by F. bleu, from OHG. bl[=a]o.] 1. Having the color of the clear sky, or a hue resembling it, whether lighter or darker; as, the deep, blue sea; as blue as a sapphire; blue violets. ``The blue firmament.'' --Milton. 2. Pale, without redness or glare, -- said of a flame; hence, of the color of burning brimstone, betokening the presence of ghosts or devils; as, the candle burns blue; the air was blue with oaths. 3. Low in spirits; melancholy; as, to feel blue. 4. Suited to produce low spirits; gloomy in prospect; as, thongs looked blue. [Colloq.] 5. Severe or over strict in morals; gloom; as, blue and sour religionists; suiting one who is over strict in morals; inculcating an impracticable, severe, or gloomy mortality; as, blue laws. 6. Literary; -- applied to women; -- an abbreviation of bluestocking. [Colloq.] The ladies were very blue and well informed. --Thackeray. Blue asbestus. See Crocidolite. Blue black, of, or having, a very dark blue color, almost black. Blue blood. See under Blood. Blue buck (Zo["o]l.), a small South African antelope (Cephalophus pygm[ae]us); also applied to a larger species ([AE]goceras leucoph[ae]us); the blaubok. Blue cod (Zo["o]l.), the buffalo cod. Blue crab (Zo["o]l.), the common edible crab of the Atlantic coast of the United States (Callinectes hastatus). Blue curls (Bot.), a common plant (Trichostema dichotomum), resembling pennyroyal, and hence called also bastard pennyroyal. Blue devils, apparitions supposed to be seen by persons suffering with delirium tremens; hence, very low spirits. ``Can Gumbo shut the hall door upon blue devils, or lay them all in a red sea of claret?'' --Thackeray. Blue gage. See under Gage, a plum. Blue gum, an Australian myrtaceous tree (Eucalyptus globulus), of the loftiest proportions, now cultivated in tropical and warm temperate regions for its timber, and as a protection against malaria. The essential oil is beginning to be used in medicine. The timber is very useful. See Eucalyptus. Blue jack, Blue stone, blue vitriol; sulphate of copper. Blue jacket, a man-of war's man; a sailor wearing a naval uniform. Blue jaundice. See under Jaundice. Blue laws, a name first used in the eighteenth century to describe certain supposititious laws of extreme rigor reported to have been enacted in New Haven; hence, any puritanical laws. [U. S.] Blue light, a composition which burns with a brilliant blue flame; -- used in pyrotechnics and as a night signal at sea, and in military operations. Blue mantle (Her.), one of the four pursuivants of the English college of arms; -- so called from the color of his official robes. Blue mass, a preparation of mercury from which is formed the blue pill. --McElrath. Blue mold, or mould, the blue fungus (Aspergillus glaucus) which grows on cheese. --Brande & C. Blue Monday, a Monday following a Sunday of dissipation, or itself given to dissipation (as the Monday before Lent). Blue ointment (Med.), mercurial ointment. Blue Peter (British Marine), a blue flag with a white square in the center, used as a signal for sailing, to recall boats, etc. It is a corruption of blue repeater, one of the British signal flags. Blue pill. (Med.) (a) A pill of prepared mercury, used as an aperient, etc. (b) Blue mass. Blue ribbon. (a) The ribbon worn by members of the order of the Garter; -- hence, a member of that order. (b) Anything the attainment of which is an object of great ambition; a distinction; a prize. ``These [scholarships] were the --blue ribbon of the college.'' --Farrar. (c) The distinctive badge of certain temperance or total abstinence organizations, as of the --Blue ribbon Army. Blue ruin, utter ruin; also, gin. [Eng. Slang] --Carlyle. Blue spar (Min.), azure spar; lazulite. See Lazulite. Blue thrush (Zo["o]l.), a European and Asiatic thrush (Petrocossyphus cyaneas). Blue verditer. See Verditer. Blue vitriol (Chem.), sulphate of copper, a violet blue crystallized salt, used in electric batteries, calico printing, etc. Blue water, the open ocean. To look blue, to look disheartened or dejected. True blue, genuine and thorough; not modified, nor mixed; not spurious; specifically, of uncompromising Presbyterianism, blue being the color adopted by the Covenanters.

1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

Low spirits.

Moby Thesaurus

blahs, blue Johnnies, blues, dismals, dods, doldrums, dolefuls, dorts, dumps, frumps, grumps, megrims, mopes, mulligrubs, mumps, pink elephants, pink spiders, pouts, snakes, sulks, sullens, the beezie-weezies, the heebie-jeebies, the jimjams, the screaming meemies, the shakes




 


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