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Line breaks: blues
Pronunciation: /bluːz

Definition of blues in English:

plural noun

1 (often the blues) [treated as singular or plural] Melancholic music of black American folk origin, typically in a twelve-bar sequence. It developed in the rural southern US towards 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: blues has always had a strong following in Australia [as modifier]: a blues singer
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: 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.


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



adjective (bluesier, bluesiest)
sense 1.
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.

Definition of blues in:

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