out of a/the clear (blue) sky

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out of a/the clear (blue) sky

Completely unexpectedly; out of nowhere. She seemed so surprised by the news that it must have come out of a clear blue sky. You need to work hard—opportunities don't just appear out of the clear sky.
See also: clear, of, out, sky
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

out of a clear blue sky

Also, out of the blue. Without warning, suddenly, as in Her offer to help us with the fundraising came out of a clear blue sky, or We got a check from Aunt Ruby out of the blue. These metaphoric terms allude to something dropping unexpectedly from the sky. [Late 1800s] Also see out of nowhere.
See also: blue, clear, of, out, sky
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

out of a clear blue sky

If something happens out of a clear blue sky, it happens completely unexpectedly, with no warning. The collapse of the airline did not come out of a clear blue sky. Note: People sometimes use this expression leaving out either clear or blue. Unlike many previous sharp falls in the stock markets, this one cannot be said to have come out of a clear sky. Note: This expression compares an unexpected event to a bolt of lightning from a blue sky. The expressions `out of the blue' and `a bolt from the blue' are based on a similar idea.
See also: blue, clear, of, out, sky
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

out of a clear (blue) sky

as a complete surprise.
1992 New Yorker The latest revelations… about the marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales may have induced disbelief, but they did not come out of a clear blue sky.
See also: clear, of, out, sky
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

out of a clear (blue) sky

Unexpectedly, suddenly. The image of something dropping from the sky was transferred to sudden or surprising events in the late nineteenth century. “He dropped upon me suddenly out of a clear sky,” wrote W. E. Norris (Marietta’s Marriage, 1897). It also was put simply as out of the blue, “the blue” having signified the sky (or the sea) since the seventeenth century. Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in a letter in 1910, “I got an encouragement out of the blue . . . in the form of an honorary degree.”
See also: clear, of, out, sky
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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