out of the blue

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


  • out of nowhere or unexpectedly
  • something that happens without anyone having prior knowledge of it
  • genuine surprise or shock
  • happens suddenly and one is not expecting it

Example Sentences

  1. Out of the blue, a deer came in front of my car.
  2. Then, out of the blue Maggie arrived.
  3. He did not expect his book to do so well, the award nomination came out of the blue for him.
  4. Junior running away from home was out of the blue.
  5. The divorce news came out of the blue.
  6. For months, she kept saying that she wants to marry Robert, and then one day, out of the blue, she announced that she is moving to Spain alone.
  7. Then one day, completely out of the blue, the Maoists attacked the police post and caught everyone off guard.


“Out of the blue” is evolved form of an old idiom “a bolt out of the blue” or “a bolt from the blue“. A bolt out of the blue also means something unexpected, like the occurrence of a bolt of lightning on a clear blue sunny sky. Whenever a situation arrives suddenly, we call it as “out of the blue” just as a lightening struck a clear sky and disappears quickly. Hence, we use this phrase to describe a “sudden situation.” However, with the passage of time “a bolt out of the blue” changed to a shorter form as “out of the blue.”

See also: a bolt from the blue


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Alexa said it came from the Seneca Tribe of Indians. I think her electric brain was hit by a bolt out of the blue.

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I was reading a novel and out of the blue read it.

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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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