blow

Definitions

General English

General Science

  • noun a sudden movement of air or gas

Aviation

  • verb to move

Cars & Driving

  • noun a leak of air or gases, e.g. from the exhaust
  • verb to become defective, either by leaking or burning through

Computing

  • verb to program a PROM device with data.

Electronics

  • To melt a fuse or to open a circuit breaker as a result of excessive current.
  • synonymburn

Military

  • verb to destroy with explosives

Slang

  • noun cocaine. The use of blow to mean cocaine spread from the USA to Britain in the later 1970s.
  • verb to leave, go suddenly. A shortening of ‘blow away’.
  • verb to perform fellatio (upon someone). In this sense the term may either derive from blow job or may be the source of that expression.
  • verb to be repellent. A rarer synonym of to suck, heard among school and college students.
  • verb to play a musical instrument (not necessarily a wind instrument) in hip talk

Origin & History of “blow”

there are three distinct blows in English. The commonest, the verb ‘send out air’ (OE), can be traced back to an Indo-European base *bhlā-. It came into English (as Old English blāwan) via Germanic *blǣ-, source also of bladder. The Indo-European base also produced Latin flāre ‘blow’, from which English gets flatulent and inflate. The other verb blow, ‘come into flower’ (OE), now archaic, comes ultimately from Indo-European *bhlō-. It entered English (as Old English blōwan) via Germanic *blo-, from which English also gets bloom and probably blade. A variant form of the Indo-European base with -s- produced Latin flōs (source of English flower) and English blossom. The noun blow ‘hard hit’ (15th c.) is altogether more mysterious. It first appears, in the form blaw, in northern and Scottish texts, and it has been connected with a hypothetical Germanic *bleuwan ‘strike’.
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