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 blankerunused, barren, untouched, vacant, bare, impassive, meaningless, hollow, lifeless, immobile, dull, dazed, void, virginal, plain, virgin, clean, white, pale, empty
Examples from the Web for blanker
Historical Examples of blanker
The latter told himself that he had never seen a blanker countenance.Wild Oranges
If—if this he had heard was true, he must be an exile, with lower aims and a blanker life than those he had once hoped for.The Giant's Robe
He stared at the sheet of paper, and his look of bewilderment grew blanker and blanker.Aletta
The Russian chauffeur slowed up a little and turned to give them a blank smile and a blanker look.Dave Dawson on the Russian Front
R. Sidney Bowen
Each expression was blank and devoid of recognition, and, as the tall man rose to his feet, his face was blanker than the others.The Key to Yesterday
Charles Neville Buck
- 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)