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blench1

[blench]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to shrink; flinch; quail: an unsteady eye that blenched under another's gaze.
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Origin of blench1

before 1000; Middle English blenchen, Old English blencan; cognate with Old Norse blekkja, Middle High German blenken
Related formsblench·er, nounblench·ing·ly, adverb

blench2

[blench]
verb (used with or without object)
  1. to make or become pale or white; blanch.
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Origin of blench2

First recorded in 1805–15; variant of blanch1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

tremble, wince, quaver, shudder, recoil, shake, quail, cringe, shrink

Examples from the Web for blench

Historical Examples

  • Like Hamlet with the king at the play, "If he but blench, I know my course!"

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • But she did not blench in the least, though she remembered whose words he was quoting.

    T. Tembarom

    Frances Hodgson Burnett

  • But though it fell, the people of the dauntless city did not blench.

    Vistas in Sicily

    Arthur Stanley Riggs

  • His cheek did not blench, his lips quiver, nor his limbs tremble.

    Bits of Blarney

    R. Shelton Mackenzie

  • Now it is the turn of his judges to blench, for his persecutors to tremble.


British Dictionary definitions for blench

blench1

verb
  1. (intr) to shy away, as in fear; quail
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Word Origin

Old English blencan to deceive

blench2

verb
  1. to make or become pale or white
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Word Origin

C19: variant of blanch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for blench

v.

Old English blencan "deceive, cheat," from Proto-Germanic *blenk- "to shine, dazzle, blind," from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn" (see bleach (v.)). Sense of "move suddenly, wince, dodge" is from c.1300. Related: Blenched; blenching.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper