a bolt from the blue

a bolt from the blue
also, a bolt out of the blue


  • a sudden and unexpected event or piece of news (typically annoying)
  • utterly abrupt that surprises one very much
  • something crucial or unusual that happens suddenly or unexpectedly

Example Sentences

  1. The sudden uprising in many parts of the country was utterly a bolt from the blue for the ministry.
  2. The withdrawal of recognition for study centres by the University Grants Commission was a bolt from the blue.
  3. Let us hope the pandemic disappears. It came as a bolt from the blue in 2020.
  4. The referendum acted as a bolt from the blue that the life of many people.
  5. The Tsunami came as a bolt from the blue and destroyed everything in it’s way.


It is a strange phenomenon when lightning strikes during clear daylight far away from the thunderstorm. The occurrence is referred to as a ‘bolt from the blue’ by meteorologists. The lightning bolts can travel several miles from actual thunderstorm clouds, and they then angle downward before striking into the earth. It is a real phenomenon that has originated the idiom “a bolt from the blue.”

Another theory (seems less real) suggests that the term refers to the projectile fired from a crossbow used in ancient warfare. An ordinary bow shoots an arrow, but a crossbow shoots a missile called a bolt. The crossbow had a much longer range than regular bows, and the person who was targeted couldn’t always see the shooter, hence, “a bolt from the blue” when the projectile landed.

Anyway, the expression was first recorded by Scottish writer Thomas Carlyle in his three-volume narrative history, The French Revolution, first published in 1837.

“Arrestment, sudden really as a bolt out of the Blue, has hit strange victims.”

See also: out of the blue


A 7 Thoughts

7 Thoughts

Thanx alot for hepling us

- Anonymous October 25, 2017

It is nice as I got sentences on it.

- Nitesh May 12, 2017

Really helpful, thanks.

- Sunil June 15, 2016

Really… Help full for me thanks.

- Inoxent Syira September 10, 2015

Thanks for the meaning.

- Manasi June 25, 2015

Did not answer my question. This was of no use!

- Nikita Nirmalkar June 24, 2015

Ur rong! Dont mind my English, I tried using slang.

- Aditya June 13, 2017

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wind up

Meaning: to be annoyed by someone

Example: My sister really knows how to wind me up. Read on



The Idioms Dictionary explains common English idioms that are popular worldwide, especially in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, and New Zealand.

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