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intr.v. blushed, blush·ing, blush·es
1. To become red in the face, especially from modesty, embarrassment, or shame; flush.
2. To become red or rosy.
3. To feel embarrassed or ashamed: blushed at his own audacity.
1. A reddening of the face, especially from modesty, embarrassment, or shame.
2. A red or rosy color: the blush of dawn.
3. A glance, look, or view: thought the painting genuine at first blush.
4. Makeup used on the face and especially on the cheekbones to give a usually rosy tint. Also called blusher.

[Middle English blushen, from Old English blyscan; see bhel- in Indo-European roots.]

blush′ful adj.
blush′ing·ly adv.




  1. Blood gushed crimson to her cheek … as though red wine had been poured into a crystal glass —Stefan Zweig
  2. The blood showed clearly [on his face] like wine stains a pearly glass —Elinor Wylie
  3. Blushed like a beetroot —Anatoly Rybakof
  4. Blushed like a brick —Samuel Hopkins Adams
  5. Blushed like a rose —Isak Dinesen
  6. Blushed, like a wave of illness —Nadine Gordimer
  7. Blushes rising like the tide —Lael Tucker Wertenbaker
  8. Blushing like a strawberry —Marcel Proust
  9. Blushing like a tomato —E. V. Lucas
  10. Blushing pink as dawn —George Garrett
  11. Blush like a black dog —John Ray’s Proverbs
  12. Blush like a geranium —Harry Graham
  13. A blush that felt like a gasoline fire —R. V. Cassill
  14. Color came to his face like blood on a galled fish —Loren D. Estleman
  15. The color flew in her face like a flag —D. H. Lawrence
  16. A deep flush enveloped him like darkness —Heinrich Böll
  17. A delicate flush of pink … like the flush in the face of the bridegroom when he kissed the lips of the bride —Oscar Wilde
  18. (I could feel my) face flaming as red as all the tomatoes in the world —H. C. Witwer
  19. A faint blush, like the shadow of a rose in a mirror of silver came to her cheeks —Oscar Wilde
  20. Felt shame flooding his cheeks like a hot geyser —Mark Helprin
  21. His face went red as a peony —Julia O’Faolain
  22. His neck flushing red even to his ears, like some overgrown schoolboy who had been made to recite when he didn’t know his lesson —John Yount
  23. Red as a barn —Susan Fromberg Schaeffer
  24. Red crawling across her face like a stain —Harvey Swados
  25. Ruddiness spreading across her cheeks like a wound —Joseph Koenig
  26. Turned all colors —as a peacock’s tail, or sunset streaming through a Gothic skylight —Lord Byron
  27. Turned as red as a winter apple —American colloquialism

    The comparison of blushing cheeks to apples is common in everyday language as well as literature. An example of the latter: “Color like an apple” from Truman Capote’s short story, Children on Their Birthdays.

  28. Turned red as … a nectarine, as a dahlia, as the most divinely red thing in the world —Colette
References in classic literature ?
She eats and drinks and sleeps like a sensible creature, she looks straight in my face when I talk about that man, and only blushes a little bit when Teddy jokes about lovers.
But it is not recorded that, in a single instance, her skill was called in to embroider the white veil which was to cover the pure blushes of a bride.
Practical jokes worthy of the English wits of the first quarter of the far-off nineteenth century were sprung here and there and yonder along the line, and compelled the delightedest applause; and sometimes when a bright remark was made at one end of the procession and started on its travels toward the other, you could note its progress all the way by the sparkling spray of laughter it threw off from its bows as it plowed along; and also by the blushes of the mules in its wake.
I was entirely out of verbal obliquities; to go further would be to lie, and that I would not do; so I simply sat still and suffered --sat mutely and resignedly there, and sizzled--for I was being slowly fried to death in my own blushes.
Brown'ssmiles and blushes rising in importance with consciousness and agitation richly scatteredthe lady had been so easily impressedso sweetly disposedhad in short, to use a most intelligible phrase, been so very ready to have him, that vanity and prudence were equally contented.
She was remarkably quick in the discovery of attachments, and had enjoyed the advantage of raising the blushes and the vanity of many a young lady by insinuations of her power over such a young man; and this kind of discernment enabled her soon after her arrival at Barton decisively to pronounce that Colonel Brandon was very much in love with Marianne Dashwood.
Here the gentlemen interposed with earnest petitions to be further enlightened on these two last-named points; but they got only blushes, ejaculations, tremors, and titters, in return for their importunity.
Em'ly was confused by our all observing her, and hung down her head, and her face was covered with blushes.
Wopsle, in his deepest voice, and pointing his fork at my blushes, as if he were mentioning my Christian name; "Swine were the companions of the prodigal.
When an old woman like myself blushes, it is a very bad sign.
These words, which were so unexpected, threw the sisters into great confusion, their eyes fell, and the blushes of the youngest did not fail to make an impression on the heart of the Sultan.