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Idioms about blind

    fly blind. fly2 (def. 34).

Origin of blind

First recorded before 1000; Middle English, Old English adjective cognate with Gothic blinds, Old Norse blindr, German, Dutch blind (from Germanic blindaz, perhaps akin to blend; original sense uncertain, perhaps “to make cloudy”); verb derivative of the adjective

synonym study for blind

1. Blind, stone-blind, purblind mean unable to see. Blind means unable to see with the physical eyes. Stone-blind emphasizes complete blindness. Purblind refers to weakened vision, literally or figuratively. 25. See curtain.

regional variations of blind

27. See window shade.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does blind mean?

Blind is most commonly used to describe a person who is unable to see. It can describe someone who has severe vision impairment or no vision at all. 

Some people who cannot see may prefer to be described or referred to with terms other than blind. As with all forms of disabilities, it is always best to use the language that the person prefers. 

The term the blind is sometimes used to collectively refer to people who are blind, such as in the names of organizations like the National Federation of the Blind. However, some people object to such collective uses, which are sometimes thought to prevent people from being viewed as individuals (in contrast with person-first language, such as people who are blind). 

Blind is sometimes used in figurative ways, especially as an adjective meaning unable or unwilling to accept or perceive something, as in Don’t be blind to the risks. It is also sometimes used to describe something that is not based on logic, as in blind faith. Such figurative uses can be considered a form of ableism due to likening negative characteristics to a physical disability. 

As a verb, blind can be used in a literal way meaning to temporarily or permanently take away someone’s ability to see, as in I was blinded by the sun or The accident blinded him

As a noun, blind can refer to a number of objects that obstruct vision or light in some way, most commonly window coverings that can be closed to darken a room (typically referred to with the plural form blinds). 

Example: As a blind person, I want people to remember that just because I can’t see doesn’t mean I’m incapable of living a full life.

Where does blind come from?

The first records of the word blind come from before 1000. It’s an Old English word that’s related to the Old Norse blindr and the Lettish blendu, meaning “to see dimly.” 

Blind is a very common word that’s used in a number of terms and idioms, such as blindside, blind spot, and blind as a bat, among many others. Some of these expressions, such as blind leading the blind, can be considered ableist for associating a lack of awareness or capability with people who have a visual disability.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to blind?

What are some synonyms for blind?

What are some words that share a root or word element with blind

What are some words that often get used in discussing blind?

How is blind used in real life?

Some people who cannot see prefer to be described in other ways, but blind is the most widely used term.

How to use blind in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for blind

Derived forms of blind

blindly, adverbblindness, noun

Word Origin for blind

Old English blind; related to Old Norse blindr, Old High German blint; Lettish blendu to see dimly; see blunder

usage for blind

It is preferable to avoid using phrases such as the blind . Instead you should talk about blind and partially sighted people
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with blind


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.