Sense: 1-2, 4-6
Date: 1400-1500
Origin: Origin unknown.
Sense: 3
Date: 1600-1700
Origin: BLOW1


2 noun
blow2 W3 [countable]


an action or event that causes difficulty or sadness for someoneCOLLOCATIONS COLLOCATIONS
serious/severe/major blow shattering/devastating/bitter blow (=something that makes you extremely disappointed and upset) cruel/heavy/grievous blow deal a blow (to somebody/something)/deal (somebody/something) a blow strike a blow suffer/receive a blow come as a blow (to somebody) fatal/final/mortal blow (=one that ends something)
Joe resigned, which was a severe blow because we needed him desperately.
His mother's death was a shattering blow.
The election result dealt a further blow to the party.
The factory closures came as a blow to the local economy.
The final blow for many firms was the government's abolition of import duties.

hard hit

a hard hit with someone's hand, a tool, or a weapon:
She died from a heavy blow to the head.
He struck a blow which threw her to the floor.
Martin received a blow on the nose.
He had been struck a glancing blow (=a blow that did not hit him directly) by the car.
blow to
He gave her a violent blow to the head.


an action of blowing:
One big blow and the candles were out.

come to blows (with somebody)

if two people come to blows, they start arguing or hitting each other because they disagree about something
come to blows (with somebody) over
They almost came to blows over the money.

soften/cushion the blow

to make something unpleasant easier for someone to accept:
A reduction in interest rates would soften the blow of tax increases.

low blow

American English informal something unkind you say to deliberately embarrass or upset someone

➔ strike a blow for somebody/something

at strike1 (13)

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