Definition of blues in English:

blues

Syllabification: blues
Pronunciation: /blo͞oz
 
/

noun

1 [treated as singular] (or plural often the blues) Melancholic music of black American folk origin, typically in a twelve-bar sequence. It developed in the rural southern US toward the end of the 19th century, finding a wider audience in the 1940s as blacks migrated to the cities. This urban blues gave rise to rhythm and blues and rock and roll.
More example sentences
  • People never know if my music is jazz or blues or folk or pop, but I don't know how to put myself into a category.
  • What emerges from this mixture is a very American sound that mixes jazz, country and western, rock, popular song, folk, and the blues.
  • That progressed from the blues into folk and gospel music and things like that.
1.1 [treated as singular] A piece of blues music: we’ll do a blues in C
More example sentences
  • Each book contains ballads, blues, Latin pieces and rags.
  • I'm going to do a Blues and then I get into a Ballad and then...?
  • ‘I love her because she would sing all over the song, rather than just do it straight, and she could sing a standard in a gritty gospel style then do a blues and just kill everyone in the room.’
2 (the blues) informal Feelings of melancholy, sadness, or depression: she’s got the blues
More example sentences
  • You say you've got the blues in your alligator shoes.
  • Your bud's got the blues: you have a bud who's just not herself lately?
  • He was basically a rich kid coming up, but he got the blues down deep in his own way.
Synonyms

Origin

mid 18th century (in sense 2): elliptically from blue devils 'depression or delirium tremens'.

Derivatives

bluesman

noun (plural bluesmen)
sense 1.
More example sentences
  • So often, when an old bluesman makes a new album, he's joined by a stellar cast of rock acolytes, paying their respects.
  • But what of those old bluesmen still left standing?
  • The travelling bluesman was the poet and entertainer of an underclass within the underclass.

bluesy

adjective
sense 1.
More example sentences
  • But their bluesy blend of ska, jazz and funk is too smooth, too safe.
  • Their set mixes their firebrand indie rock, with some bluesy influences and stirring melodics.
  • When the band aren't venturing on plush, static jams, his coy bluesy vocals tether the songs in familiar melodic space.

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