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Blast vs Blight vs Nip

Blast, blight, nip mean as verbs, to ruin or to injure severely, suddenly, or surprisingly and as nouns, the effect of such ruin or injury.

Blast which basically implies a violent onrush (as of wind) carries the implication of something pernicious that comes with sweeping force to destroy or demolish or to bring with it complete frustration.

Blight primarily implies a withering and killing of plant tissue by some natural agency (as disease, pests, or adverse weather).

Similarly in extended use the term implies a destructive altering (as of a plan, a hope, or a life) by some external but relevant agency.

Nip may imply a squeezing, a pinching, or more specifically, a cutting off between two edges, surfaces, or points; in extended use, it implies the acting of something comparable (as a killing frost or a bitter wind) that has power to damage, to check, or to distress.

In the idiomatic phrase “to nip in the bud” nip harks back to the implication of cutting off and suggests a terminating or destroying of something before it has fully developed or matured.