Definition of bloody adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈblʌdi//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈblʌdi//
[only before noun] adverb
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  • (British English, taboo, slang) a swear word that many people find offensive that is used to emphasize a comment or an angry statement Don't be such a bloody fool. That was a bloody good meal! What bloody awful weather! She did bloody well to win that race. He doesn't bloody care about anybody else. ‘Will you apologize?’ ‘Not bloody likely!’ (= Certainly not!) The rail strike is a bloody nuisance. I can’t get this bloody stupid thing to work. What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing?
  • Word Originmid 17th cent.: from bloody2. The use of bloody to add emphasis to an expression is of uncertain origin, but is thought to have a connection with the “bloods” (aristocratic rowdies) of the late 17th and early 18th centuries; hence the phrase bloody drunk (= as drunk as a blood) meant “very drunk indeed”. After the mid 18th cent. until quite recently bloody used as a swear word was regarded as unprintable, probably from the mistaken belief that it implied a blasphemous reference to the blood of Christ, or that the word was an alteration of “by Our Lady”; hence a widespread caution in using the term even in phrases, such as bloody battle, merely referring to bloodshed.Extra examples ‘I’m not coming.’ ‘Yes you bloody well are.’ ‘Will you apologize to him?’ ‘ Not bloody likely!’ He doesn’t bloody care about anybody. I can’t get this bloody thing to work. What the bloody hell do you think you are doing?Idioms (British English, informal, taboo) used to emphasize an angry statement or an order You can bloody well keep your job—I don't want it! ‘I’m not coming.’ ‘Yes, you bloody well are!’