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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




  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
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
However, she had, on such occasions, the advantage of concealing her blushes from the eyes of men; and De non apparentibus, et non existentibus eadem est ratio --in English, "When a woman is not seen to blush, she doth not blush at all."
And then they ask him why he blushes, and why he stammers, and why he always speaks in an almost inaudible tone, as if they thought he did it on purpose.
She told all this to Philip with pretty sighs and becoming blushes, and showed him the photograph of the gay lieutenant.
But Anne had given up trying to analyze the reason of her blushes. As for Roy, of course she was in love with him -- madly so.
Naturally one blushes when one can see one's naked toes projecting through one's boots, and one's buttons hanging by a single thread!
This is one of the most underrated blushes I have in my stash.