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blip

[blip]
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noun
  1. Also called pip. Electronics.
    1. a spot of light on a radar screen indicating the position of a plane, submarine, or other object.
    2. (loosely) any small spot of light on a display screen.
  2. a brief upturn, as in revenue or income: The midwinter blip was no cause for optimism among store owners.
  3. anything small, as in amount or number: a blip of light; Those opposed were merely a blip in the opinion polls.
  4. bleep(def 3).
  5. Slang. a nickel; five cents.
  6. Movies. a mark of synchronization on a sound track.
  7. a small or brief interruption, as in the continuity of a motion-picture film or the supply of light or electricity: There were blips in the TV film where the commercials had been edited out.
verb (used without object), blipped, blip·ping.
  1. Informal. to move or proceed in short, irregular, jerking movements: The stock market has blipped one point higher this week.
verb (used with object), blipped, blip·ping.
  1. bleep(def 5).

Origin of blip

1890–95, for an earlier sense; sound symbolism, with p for brevity and abrupt end of the impulse; bl- perhaps from blink
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for blip

blip

noun
  1. a repetitive sound, such as that produced by an electronic device, by dripping water, etc
  2. Also called: pip the spot of light or a sharply peaked pulse on a radar screen indicating the position of an object
  3. a temporary irregularity recorded in performance of something
verb blips, blipping or blipped
  1. (intr) to produce such a noise

Word Origin

C20: of imitative origin
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

Word Origin and History for blip

n.

1894, in reference to a kind of popping sound, of echoic origin. Radar screen sense is from 1945. As a verb from 1924. Related: Blipped; blipping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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