Etymology
Advertisement
blaze (n.1)

"bright flame, fire," Old English blæse "a torch, firebrand; bright glowing flame," from Proto-Germanic *blas- "shining, white" (source also of Old Saxon blas "white, whitish," Middle High German blas "bald," originally "white, shining," Old High German blas-ros "horse with a white spot," Middle Dutch and Dutch bles, German Blesse "white spot," blass "pale, whitish"), from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn."

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
blaze (n.2)
1630s, "light-colored mark or spot" on the face of a horse, cow, etc., northern English dialect, probably from Old Norse blesi "white spot on a horse's face," from Proto-Germanic *blas- "shining, white," from the same root as blaze (n.1). Middle Dutch or Low German cognates of the Norse word also have been suggested as the source. Applied 1660s in American English to marks cut on tree trunks to indicate a track; thus the verb meaning "to mark a trail" (1750). Related: Blazed; blazing.
Related entries & more 
blaze (v.2)
"make public" (often in a bad sense, boastfully), late 14c., of uncertain origin, the verb not being found in Old English; perhaps from Middle Dutch blasen "to blow" (on a trumpet), from Proto-Germanic *blaes-an (source also of German blasen, Gothic -blesan), from PIE root *bhle- "to blow." Or connected to blaze (v.1) on the notion of "shine forth."
Related entries & more 
blaze (v.1)
"to burst into flame, burn brightly or vigorously," c. 1200, from blaze (n.1). To blaze away "fire (guns or cannon) continuously" is by 1776, hence "work with vigor and enthusiasm." Related: Blazed; blazing.
Related entries & more 
blaze (v.3)
"to mark" (a tree, a trail), usually by cutting of a piece of bark so as to leave a white spot, 1750, American English, from blaze (n.) "white mark made on a tree" (1660s), from blaze (n.2).
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
blazes (n.)
euphemism for Hell, 1818, plural of blaze (n.1), in reference to the flames.
Related entries & more 
trailblazer (n.)
by 1893, from trail (n.) + agent noun from blaze (v.3).
Related entries & more 
ablaze (adv.)
late 14c., "on fire," from a "on" (see a- (1)) + blaze (n.).
Related entries & more 
blazing (adj.)
late 14c., "shining," also "vehement," present-participle adjective from blaze (v.1). As a mild or euphemistic epithet, attested from 1888 (no doubt suggesting damned and connected with the blazes, the euphemism for "Hell").
Related entries & more 
blazer (n.)
1630s, "anything which blazes;" 1880 as "bright-colored loose jacket," in this sense British university slang, from blaze (n.1), in reference to the red flannel jackets worn by the Lady Margaret, St. John College, Cambridge, boating club. Earlier the word had been used in American English in the sense "something which attracts attention" (1845).
Related entries & more