AskDefine | Define blend

Dictionary Definition



1 an occurrence of thorough mixing
2 a new word formed by joining two others and combining their meanings; "`smog' is a blend of `smoke' and `fog'"; "`motel' is a portmanteau word made by combining `motor' and `hotel'"; "`brunch' is a well-known portmanteau" [syn: portmanteau word, portmanteau]
3 the act of blending components together thoroughly [syn: blending]


1 combine into one; "blend the nuts and raisins together"; "he blends in with the crowd"; "We don't intermingle much" [syn: intermix, immingle, intermingle]
2 blend or harmonize; "This flavor will blend with those in your dish"; "This sofa won't go with the chairs" [syn: go, blend in]
3 mix together different elements; "The colors blend well" [syn: flux, mix, conflate, commingle, immix, fuse, coalesce, meld, combine, merge]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • , /blɛnd/, /blEnd/



From blondan or blanda.


  1. A mixture of two or more things.
  2. A word formed by combining two other words; a grammatical contamination, portmanteau word.



in linguistics


  1. To mix.
    To feel no other breezes than are blown / Through its tall woods with high romances blent - Keats, 1884

Derived terms


Extensive Definition

In linguistics, a blend is a word formed from parts of two other words. These parts are sometimes, but not always, morphemes.


Blends deal with the action of abridging and then combining various lexemes to form a new word. However, the process of defining which words are true blends and which are not is more complicated. The difficulty comes in determine which parts of a new word are "recoverable" (its root can be distinguished).
There are many types of blends, based on how they are formed. Algeo, a linguist, proposed dividing blends into three groups :
  1. Phonemic Overlap: a syllable or part of a syllable is shared between two words
  2. Clipping: the shortening of two words and them compounding them
  3. Phenomic Overlap and Clipping: shortening of two words to a shared syllable and then compounding
However, classification of types of blends is not standard among all linguists.


Most blends are formed by one of the following methods:
  1. The beginning of one word is added to the end of the other. For example, brunch is a blend of breakfast and lunch. One of the two may be a whole word if it is short. This is the most common method of blending. A monosyllabic word is divided into its onset and rime if necessary. A blend of this type typically has the same number of syllables as the second word.
    • broccoli (3) + cauliflower (4) → broccoflower (4)
    • breakfast (2) + lunch (1) → brunch (1)
    • camera (3) + recorder (3) → camcorder (3)
    • education (4) + entertainment (4) → edutainment (4)
    • information (4) + commercial (3) → infomercial (4, exception)
    • motor (2) + hotel (2) → motel (2)
    • simultaneous (5) + broadcast (2) → simulcast (3, exception)
    • smoke (1) + fog (1) → smog (1)
    • spoon (1) + fork (1) → spork (1)
    • stagnation (3) + inflation (3) → stagflation (3)
  2. The beginnings of two words are combined. For example, cyborg is a blend of cybernetic and organism.
  3. Two words are blended around a common sequence of sounds. For example, the word Californication, from a song by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, is a blend of California and fornication.
  4. Multiple sounds from two component words are blended, while mostly preserving the sounds' order. Poet Lewis Carroll was well known for these kinds of blends. An example of this is the word slithy, a blend of lithe and slimy. This method is difficult to achieve and is considered a sign of Carroll's verbal wit.
When two words are combined in their entirety, the result is considered a compound word rather than a blend. For example, bagpipe is a compound, not a blend, of bag and pipe.

Lexical Selection

Blending may occur with an error in lexical selection, the process by which a speaker uses his semantic knowledge to choose words. As Lewis Carroll quipped, if one attempts to say two words but does not decide which to say first, you will produce a "portmanteau." The errors are based on similarity of meanings, rather than phonological similarities, and the morphemes or phonemes stay in the same position within the syllable.


Some languages, like Japanese, encourage the shortening and merging of borrowed foreign words (as in gairaigo), because they are long or difficult to pronounce in the target language. For example, karaoke, a combination of the Japanese word kara (meaning empty) and the clipped form oke of the English loanword "orchestra" (J. ōkesutora オーケストラ), is a Japanese blend that has entered the English language. (From the article gairaigo.)
Many corporate brand names, trademarks, and initiatives, as well as names of corporations and organizations themselves, are blends. For example, Wiktionary, one of Wikipedia's sister projects, is a blend of wiki and dictionary. Also, Nabisco is a blend of the initial syllables of National Biscuit Company.

Nicknames for celebrity couples

Blends are also commonly used by the media and fans to describe celebrity supercouples. It originally started with "Bennifer", which stood for Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. Now, it has branched out to cover major couples such as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, known together as "TomKat", Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, known together as "Brangelina",, and Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston, known together as "Vaughniston". Character couples on popular television series being known by similar monikers have become more common.

See also


blend in German: Amalgamierung
blend in Spanish: Acrónimo
blend in Hebrew: הלחם

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Anschluss, accord, add, addition, admix, admixture, affiliation, agglomeration, aggregation, agreement, alliance, alloy, amalgam, amalgamate, amalgamation, arrange, assimilate, assimilation, association, assonate, atone, attune, be harmonious, be in tune, bemingle, blending, cabal, cartel, centralization, chime, chord, coalesce, coalescence, coalition, combination, combine, combo, come together, commingle, commingling, commix, commixture, compose, composite, composition, compound, comprise, concoct, concoction, confection, confederacy, confederation, congeries, conglomerate, conglomeration, conjugation, conjunction, connect, consolidate, consolidation, conspiracy, contamination, ecumenism, embodiment, embody, emulsify, encompass, encompassment, enosis, ensemble, federalization, federation, flux, fuse, fusion, gradate, grade, graduate, harmonize, hash, homogenize, hookup, hybrid, hybrid word, hybridism, immingle, immix, immixture, include, inclusion, incorporate, incorporation, integrate, integration, interblend, interfuse, interfusion, interlace, interlard, intermingle, intermingling, intermix, intermixture, intertwine, interweave, join, jumble, junction, junta, knead, league, lump together, macaronic, macaronicism, magma, make one, marriage, meld, melding, melodize, melt into one, merge, merger, mingle, mingle-mangle, mingling, mix, mix up, mixture, musicalize, orchestrate, package, package deal, paste, portmanteau, portmanteau word, portmantologism, put together, reembody, roll into one, scramble, shade, shade into, shuffle, solidification, solidify, sound in tune, sound together, stir up, symphonize, synchronize, syncretism, syncretize, syndicate, syndication, syneresis, synthesis, synthesize, telescope word, throw together, tie-up, toss together, tune, unification, unify, union, unite, wedding, work
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