adjective, blank·er, blank·est.
verb (used with object)
- to fail in an attempt; be unsuccessful: We've drawn a blank in the investigation.
- to fail to comprehend or be unable to recollect: He asked me their phone number and I drew a blank.
Origin of blank
Synonyms for blank
Related Words for blankunused, barren, untouched, vacant, bare, impassive, meaningless, hollow, lifeless, immobile, dull, dazed, void, virginal, plain, virgin, clean, white, pale, empty
Examples from the Web for blank
Contemporary Examples of blank
Tonn and Blank Construction An Indiana construction company.The 26 Next Hobby Lobbys
December 17, 2014
In the case of Steven Eugene Washington, nothing more than a blank stare made him a target for police bullets.Worse Than Eric Garner: Cops Who Got Away With Killing Autistic Men and Little Girls
December 4, 2014
I was in front of him trying to talk him out of it but he was just looking at me with a blank stare on his face.The Porn Party Where War Machine Went Ballistic
August 20, 2014
A young officer loaded the rifles of the 12-man firing squad each with a single bullet, one of them a blank.The Last American Soldier Executed for Desertion
June 6, 2014
I could take the credit for being the liberal I always claimed to be, but I was 24 and still had a lot of blank spots.Pedro Zamora, a Hero in the Real World
June 1, 2014
Historical Examples of blank
Robin's pale, blank face had a sick look, a deadly smoothness.Life and Death of Harriett Frean
I will sign you a blank cheque, which your uncle can fill up with the amount he has stolen.Weighed and Wanting
The blank astonishment of her face had proved that to him beyond a doubt.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
But Rima, what had she expected that her face wore that blank look of surprise and pain?Green Mansions
W. H. Hudson
The cover was blank; it was sealed with a small device, as of a ring seal.Night and Morning, Complete
- to choose a lottery ticket that fails to win
- to get no results from something
Word Origin for blank
early 13c., "white, pale, colorless," from Old French blanc "white, shining," from Frankish *blank "white, gleaming," or some other West Germanic source (cf. Old Norse blakkr, Old English blanca "white horse;" Old High German blanc, blanch; German blank "shining, bright"), from Proto-Germanic *blangkaz "to shine, dazzle," extended form of PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn" (see bleach (v.)).
Meaning "having empty spaces" evolved c.1400. Sense of "void of expression" (a blank look) is from 1550s. Spanish blanco, Italian bianco are said to be from Germanic. Related: Blankly, blankness.
late 14c. as the name of a small French coin; 1550s as "white space in the center of a target," from the same source as blank (adj.). Meaning "empty space" (in a document, etc.) is from c.1570. Meaning "losing lottery ticket" (1560s) is behind the expression draw a blank. The word has been "for decorum's sake, substituted for a word of execration" [OED] from 1854. From 1896 as short for blank cartridge (itself from 1826).
1540s, "to nonplus, disconcert, shut up;" 1560s, "to frustrate," from blank (adj.). Sports sense of "defeat (another team) without allowing a score" is from 1870. Meaning "to become blank or empty" is from 1955. Related: Blanked; blanking.
In addition to the idiom beginning with blank
- blank check
- draw a blank
- fill in (the blanks)