adjective, blank·er, blank·est.
verb (used with object)
- bland-allison act,
- blank cartridge,
- blank check,
- blank cheque,
- blank endorsement,
- blank shell
- 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
Examples from the Web for blank
Tonn and Blank Construction An Indiana construction company.
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|Emily Shire|December 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST
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.
Listening to Creed is perhaps his way of saying, “Forget everything you think you know about music, and start with a blank slate.”Jenny Lewis on 'The Voyager,' the End of Rilo Kiley, and High School Classmate Angelina Jolie|Marlow Stern|August 17, 2014|DAILY BEAST
A young officer loaded the rifles of the 12-man firing squad each with a single bullet, one of them a blank.
We may even say that these fits of incapacity and blank despondency are part of the cost of all creative work.Adventures in Criticism|Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
In this passage it would seem that he could not make up his mind and left a blank accordingly.The Works of William Shakespeare [Cambridge Edition] [Vol. 7 of 9]|William Shakespeare
I suppose a blank or a dash rather fends a good many people off—because it always has that effect upon me.The Letters of Charles Dickens|Charles Dickens
Ah Fe, without removing his eyes from blank vacancy, saw that both Mrs. Tretherick and Carry were poorly dressed.Tales of the Argonauts|Bret Harte
It would seem as if the celestial army had been supplied with blank cartridges.A Popular History of Astronomy During the Nineteenth Century|Agnes M. (Agnes Mary) Clerke
- 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)