- to open and close the eye, especially involuntarily; wink rapidly and repeatedly.
- to look with winking or half-shut eyes: I blinked at the harsh morning light.
- to be startled, surprised, or dismayed (usually followed by at): She blinked at his sudden fury.
- to look evasively or with indifference; ignore (often followed by at): to blink at another's eccentricities.
- to shine unsteadily, dimly, or intermittently; twinkle: The light on the buoy blinked in the distance.
- to open and close (the eye or eyes), usually rapidly and repeatedly; wink: She blinked her eyes in an effort to wake up.
- to cause (something) to blink: We blinked the flashlight frantically, but there was no response.
- to ignore deliberately; evade; shirk.
- on the blink, not in proper working order; in need of repair: The washing machine is on the blink again.
Origin of blink
SynonymsSee more synonyms for blink on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for blinks
New York blinks in the face of uncertainty and bans hydraulic fracturing.New York’s Conservative Fracking Ban
December 20, 2014
CLAIRE: (blinks rapidly) But Francis, we have the Paws and Purrsonality pancake breakfast next week.Frank Underwood Will Not Tolerate Insubordination in This Olive Garden
Kelly Williams Brown
February 24, 2014
And it may be who blinks rather than who shuts the government down that matters most.Why Democrats Should Fear a Government Shutdown
David A. Graham
February 28, 2011
Ferdie blinks a couple of times as the picture forms on the screen.
As for Ferdie, he just sits there and blinks, followin' 'em through his spare panes.
However, fibs of this sort one blinks at where pretty girls are the criminals.April's Lady
Margaret Wolfe Hungerford
Mrs. Bliss turns on him sort of dazed, and blinks them round eyes of hers.The House of Torchy
He was not of an imaginative or philosophic turn, like Mr. Blinks.
- (functioning as singular) a small temperate portulacaceous plant, Montia fontana with small white flowers
- to close and immediately reopen (the eyes or an eye), usually involuntarily
- (intr) to look with the eyes partially closed, as in strong sunlight
- to shine intermittently, as in signalling, or unsteadily
- (tr ; foll by away, from , etc) to clear the eyes of (dust, tears, etc)
- (when tr , usually foll by at) to be surprised or amazedhe blinked at the splendour of the ceremony
- (when intr , foll by at) to pretend not to know or see (a fault, injustice, etc)
- the act or an instance of blinking
- a glance; glimpse
- short for iceblink (def. 1)
- on the blink slang not working properly
Word Origin and History for blinks
1580s, perhaps from Middle Dutch blinken "to glitter," of uncertain origin, possibly, with German blinken "to gleam, sparkle, twinkle," from a nasalized form of base found in Old English blican "to shine, glitter" (see bleach (v.)).
Middle English had blynke (c.1300) in the sense "a brief gleam or spark," perhaps a variant of blench "to move suddenly or sharply; to raise one's eyelids" (c.1200), perhaps from the rare Old English blencan "deceive." Related: Blinked; blinking. The last, as a euphemism for a stronger word, is attested by 1914.
1590s, "a glance;" see blink (v.). As is the case with the verb, there is a similar word in Middle English, in use from c.1300, that might represent a native form of the same root.
Idioms and Phrases with blinks
see on the blink.