[ blangk ]
/ blæŋk /

adjective, blank·er, blank·est.


verb (used with object)

Idioms for blank

    draw a blank,
    1. to fail in an attempt; be unsuccessful: We've drawn a blank in the investigation.
    2. to fail to comprehend or be unable to recollect: He asked me their phone number and I drew a blank.

Origin of blank

1300–50; Middle English (noun and adj.) < Anglo-French, French blanc (adj.) < Germanic; compare Old English blanca white horse, Old High German blanch bright, white


1–4 See empty.
8 dumfounded, confused, astounded.
9 pure, simple, unadulterated; perfect, absolute, unqualified.
11 void, vacancy, emptiness; gap, lacuna, hiatus.


blank·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for draw a blank

/ (blæŋk) /



verb (tr)

Derived forms of blank

blankly, adverbblankness, noun

Word Origin for blank

C15: from Old French blanc white, of Germanic origin; related to Old English blanca a white horse
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

Idioms and Phrases with draw a blank (1 of 2)

draw a blank

Fail to find or remember something, as in He looks familiar but I've drawn a blank on his name. This expression alludes to drawing a lottery ticket with nothing on it (so one cannot win a prize). [Early 1800s]

Idioms and Phrases with draw a blank (2 of 2)


In addition to the idiom beginning with blank

  • blank check

also see:

  • draw a blank
  • fill in (the blanks)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.