- to open and close the eye, especially involuntarily; wink rapidly and repeatedly.
- to look with winking or half-shut eyes: I blinked at the harsh morning light.
- to be startled, surprised, or dismayed (usually followed by at): She blinked at his sudden fury.
- to look evasively or with indifference; ignore (often followed by at): to blink at another's eccentricities.
- to shine unsteadily, dimly, or intermittently; twinkle: The light on the buoy blinked in the distance.
- to open and close (the eye or eyes), usually rapidly and repeatedly; wink: She blinked her eyes in an effort to wake up.
- to cause (something) to blink: We blinked the flashlight frantically, but there was no response.
- to ignore deliberately; evade; shirk.
- on the blink, not in proper working order; in need of repair: The washing machine is on the blink again.
Origin of blink
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for blink
Now it can happen in the blink of an eye—just look at former House majority leader Eric Cantor.The ‘Morning Joe’-ification of Eric Cantor
November 17, 2014
He was unable to speak, and the woman asked him to blink once for yes, twice for no in reply to some questions.Tupac Shakur’s Race-Killer Prison Pal Talks
July 29, 2014
In the blink of an eye, the hipster has turned into a catch-all scapegoat, guilty for everything from expensive beer to bad music.Why Do We Hate Hipsters So F'ing Much?
July 13, 2014
Technology that stealthily decimates in the blink of an eye, that is what is what Israel needs in the Twenty-First Century.Israel Needs Better War Technology
July 7, 2014
Efron, in a blink, went from shy concealment to peacock-ish display.Zac Efron’s Eyes Are Up Here, Ladies
April 15, 2014
No sunlight ever made her blink, or screw her face into wrinkles.Tiverton Tales
Already a mood of much daylight was making him blink and shrink.The Incomplete Amorist
That tint is what we call the blink of open water, said Johnson.The Field of Ice
It was a hesitating face, which seemed to blink doubtfully in the daylight.Alarms and Discursions
G. K. Chesterton
It had lain so long in some darkened cellar that it seemed to blink in the candlelight.The Prisoner of Zenda
- to close and immediately reopen (the eyes or an eye), usually involuntarily
- (intr) to look with the eyes partially closed, as in strong sunlight
- to shine intermittently, as in signalling, or unsteadily
- (tr ; foll by away, from , etc) to clear the eyes of (dust, tears, etc)
- (when tr , usually foll by at) to be surprised or amazedhe blinked at the splendour of the ceremony
- (when intr , foll by at) to pretend not to know or see (a fault, injustice, etc)
- the act or an instance of blinking
- a glance; glimpse
- short for iceblink (def. 1)
- on the blink slang not working properly
Word Origin and History for blink
1580s, perhaps from Middle Dutch blinken "to glitter," of uncertain origin, possibly, with German blinken "to gleam, sparkle, twinkle," from a nasalized form of base found in Old English blican "to shine, glitter" (see bleach (v.)).
Middle English had blynke (c.1300) in the sense "a brief gleam or spark," perhaps a variant of blench "to move suddenly or sharply; to raise one's eyelids" (c.1200), perhaps from the rare Old English blencan "deceive." Related: Blinked; blinking. The last, as a euphemism for a stronger word, is attested by 1914.
1590s, "a glance;" see blink (v.). As is the case with the verb, there is a similar word in Middle English, in use from c.1300, that might represent a native form of the same root.
Idioms and Phrases with blink
see on the blink.