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Definition of blues
- 1 [treated as singular] (or plural often the blues) melancholic music of black American folk origin, typically in a twelve-bar sequence. It developed in the rural southern US toward the end of the 19th century, finding a wider audience in the 1940s as blacks migrated to the cities. This urban blues gave rise to rhythm and blues and rock and roll.
mid 18th century (in blues (sense 2)): elliptically from blue devils 'depression or delirium tremens'