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blip

[blip]
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noun
  1. Also called pip. Electronics.
    1. a spot of light on a radar screen indicating the position of a plane, submarine, or other object.
    2. (loosely) any small spot of light on a display screen.
  2. a brief upturn, as in revenue or income: The midwinter blip was no cause for optimism among store owners.
  3. anything small, as in amount or number: a blip of light; Those opposed were merely a blip in the opinion polls.
  4. bleep(def 3).
  5. Slang. a nickel; five cents.
  6. Movies. a mark of synchronization on a sound track.
  7. a small or brief interruption, as in the continuity of a motion-picture film or the supply of light or electricity: There were blips in the TV film where the commercials had been edited out.
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verb (used without object), blipped, blip·ping.
  1. Informal. to move or proceed in short, irregular, jerking movements: The stock market has blipped one point higher this week.
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verb (used with object), blipped, blip·ping.
  1. bleep(def 5).
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Origin of blip

1890–95, for an earlier sense; sound symbolism, with p for brevity and abrupt end of the impulse; bl- perhaps from blink
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

glitchtapcensorspotecho

Examples from the Web for blip

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • There was the blip of the leading ship, the "point" of the formation.

    Talents, Incorporated

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

  • "Picked up a blip on the radar, Captain," replied the radar officer.

  • When we find it, the blip on the scope will stand out very plainly.

    The Golden Skull

    John Blaine

  • Let me know the minute you get a blip, because it probably will be that Consops cruiser.

  • He sat at the main screen, and studied the blip, making tiny crayon marks.

    Greylorn

    John Keith Laumer


British Dictionary definitions for blip

blip

noun
  1. a repetitive sound, such as that produced by an electronic device, by dripping water, etc
  2. Also called: pip the spot of light or a sharply peaked pulse on a radar screen indicating the position of an object
  3. a temporary irregularity recorded in performance of something
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verb blips, blipping or blipped
  1. (intr) to produce such a noise
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Word Origin

C20: of imitative origin
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 blip

n.

1894, in reference to a kind of popping sound, of echoic origin. Radar screen sense is from 1945. As a verb from 1924. Related: Blipped; blipping.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper