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[blench] /blɛntʃ/
verb (used without object)
to shrink; flinch; quail:
an unsteady eye that blenched under another's gaze.
Origin of blench1
before 1000; Middle English blenchen, Old English blencan; cognate with Old Norse blekkja, Middle High German blenken
Related forms
blencher, noun
blenchingly, adverb


[blench] /blɛntʃ/
verb (used with or without object)
to make or become pale or white; blanch.
First recorded in 1805-15; variant of blanch1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for blench
Historical Examples
  • Like Hamlet with the king at the play, "If he but blench, I know my course!"

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • But she did not blench in the least, though she remembered whose words he was quoting.

    T. Tembarom Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • But though it fell, the people of the dauntless city did not blench.

    Vistas in Sicily Arthur Stanley Riggs
  • His cheek did not blench, his lips quiver, nor his limbs tremble.

    Bits of Blarney R. Shelton Mackenzie
  • Now it is the turn of his judges to blench, for his persecutors to tremble.

  • This word, sometimes confounded with ‘unblanched,’ is from blench, a causal of blink.

    Milton's Comus John Milton
  • Some things he had never yet talked about; it made his mind blench to think of talking about them.

    Soul of a Bishop H. G. Wells
  • It had to be looked out on the map, but the chauffeur, trained to the hour, did not blench.

    The Lion's Share E. Arnold Bennett
  • Musa got closer to Mr. Ziegler, who did not blench nor cease from his humming.

    The Lion's Share E. Arnold Bennett
  • It did not blench, and I began to wonder if, after all, he might not be honest.

    The Princess Passes

    Alice Muriel Williamson and Charles Norris Williamson
British Dictionary definitions for blench


(intransitive) to shy away, as in fear; quail
Word Origin
Old English blencan to deceive


to make or become pale or white
Word Origin
C19: variant of blanch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for blench

Old English blencan "deceive, cheat," from Proto-Germanic *blenk- "to shine, dazzle, blind," from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn" (see bleach (v.)). Sense of "move suddenly, wince, dodge" is from c.1300. Related: Blenched; blenching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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