- 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
Examples from the Web for flickering
He gazed at the flowers and the flickering candles, clearly moved.'Please Don't Die!': The Frantic Battle to Save Murdered Cops
December 22, 2014
One well-known work, “Exploded Views” (2011), features 2,880 seemingly random, flickering LED lights.Art Goes High-Tech at These Four Innovative Exhibits
May 29, 2014
The best ones have a view of the murals or are near the pretty glass cabinet filled with flickering candles.Where to Fall in Love—or Just Get Drunk—on Valentine’s Day
Condé Nast Traveler
February 12, 2014
Dusty paths lined with flickering orange lanterns led us to our final camp, a slice of dramatic Arabian luxury.On Foot in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco
January 22, 2014
For these boys, the man leans in and shines a flickering red light in their faces.‘Web Junkie’ Is a Harrowing Documentary on China’s Internet Addiction Rehab Clinics
January 20, 2014
"And you, too," he added, flickering a glance at Miss Georgie.Good Indian
B. M. Bower
The familiar horse appeared in the flickering circle of light.Polly of Lady Gay Cottage
Emma C. Dowd
Gone was the brambled waste, gone the flickering tangle of woodland.The Golden Age
The paper that hung in his hand had touched the flickering peat.The Shadow of a Crime
Nelly caught it up and held it on the breezy side of the flickering match.Capt'n Davy's Honeymoon
- (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 flickering
1849, "wavering, unsteady light or flame;" 1857 as "a flickering," from flicker (v.).
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.