- to burn unsteadily; shine with a wavering light: The candle flickered in the wind and went out.
- to move to and fro; vibrate; quiver: The long grasses flickered in the wind.
- to flutter.
- to cause to flicker.
- an unsteady flame or light.
- a flickering movement.
- a brief occurrence or appearance: a flicker of hope.
- Often flickers. Slang. flick2.
- Ophthalmology. the visual sensation of flickering that occurs when the interval between intermittent flashes of light is too long to permit fusion.
Origin of flicker1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- any of several American woodpeckers of the genus Colaptes, having the underside of the wings and tail brightly marked with yellow or red and noted for taking insects from the ground as well as trees.
Origin of flicker2
Examples from the Web for flicker
A pivotal moment comes when Amir admits he felt more than a flicker of pride when fanatics attacked the Twin Towers.Religion, Race, and a Broadway Hit: The Making of ‘Disgraced’
November 10, 2014
Sunday saw a feast of NBA action with the Chicago Bulls toppling the Heat and a flicker of Linsanity down in Houston.State Rep Pat Garofalo Says NBA Players Are Criminals
March 10, 2014
The flicker of candles and flashlights could be seen through some apartment windows.In Stuyvesant Town, Evidence of Hurricane Sandy’s Wrath
October 30, 2012
And suddenly, he was a stranger, a man who looked at me blankly from his hospital bed, no flicker of recognition.When My Husband Lost His Memory, I Had to Win His Love Anew
December 8, 2011
I was beginning to perspire; for the first time, I felt a flicker of anxiety.Ciao, Roma! Hello, Newark!
January 6, 2011
Andrew peered into the grim face of the older man; there was not a flicker of a smile in it.Way of the Lawless
In her numbed brain was no flicker of thought as to whatever might come to her afterward.Within the Law
She saw the flicker of the match across the street, and knew what it meant.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
"I just know he'll choose Bill," crowed the Countess after the flicker of the doctor's skirts.Chip, of the Flying U
B. M. Bower
To her, the blaze of the Set's smartness was but the flicker of a penny dip.It Happened in Egypt
C. N. Williamson
- (intr) to shine with an unsteady or intermittent lighta candle flickers
- (intr) to move quickly to and fro; quiver, flutter, or vibrate
- (tr) to cause to flicker
- an unsteady or brief light or flame
- a swift quivering or fluttering movement
- a visual sensation, often seen in a television image, produced by periodic fluctuations in the brightness of light at a frequency below that covered by the persistence of vision
- the flicker (plural) a US word for flick 2 (def. 2)
- any North American woodpecker of the genus Colaptes, esp C. auratus (yellow-shafted flicker), which has a yellow undersurface to the wings and tail
Word Origin and History for flicker
Old English flicorian "to flutter, flap quickly and lightly," originally of birds. Onomatopoeic and suggestive of quick motion. Sense of "shine with a wavering light" is c.1600, but not common till 19c. Related: Flickered; flickering.
"woodpecker," 1808, American English, possibly echoic of bird's note, or from white spots on plumage that seem to flicker as it flits from tree to tree.
1849, "wavering, unsteady light or flame;" 1857 as "a flickering," from flicker (v.).