verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to move with a jerk or jerks.
to flutter.

Origin of flick

1400–50; late Middle English flykke; apparently imitative



noun Slang.

a motion picture.
Also flicker.

Origin of flick

First recorded in 1925–30; shortening of flicker1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for flick

Contemporary Examples of flick

Historical Examples of flick

  • Thinking of this, he produced it from the holster with a flick of his fingers.

  • I laid back my ears--I am Kabeyde, and it is not for the Diné to flick whips at me.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • He would give the roan a flick, and his sulky would flash by.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • Suddenly they began to flick out of sight by twos and threes.

    Pariah Planet

    Murray Leinster

  • He could smell the brine and feel the flick of the foam on his lips and cheeks.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for flick




(tr) to touch with or as if with the finger or hand in a quick jerky movement
(tr) to propel or remove by a quick jerky movement, usually of the fingers or handto flick a piece of paper at someone
to move or cause to move quickly or jerkily
(intr foll by through) to read or look at (a book, newspaper, etc) quickly or idly
to snap or click (the fingers) to produce a sharp sound


a tap or quick stroke with the fingers, a whip, etc
the sound made by such a stroke
a fleck, streak, or particle
give someone the flick informal to dismiss someone from consideration

Word Origin for flick

C15: of imitative origin; compare French flicflac



noun slang

a cinema film
the flicks the cinemawhat's on at the flicks tonight?
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 flick

mid-15c., probably imitative of a light blow with a whip. Earliest recorded use is in phrase not worth a flykke "useless." As slang for "film," it is first attested 1926, a back-formation from flicker (v.), from their flickering appearance.


1816, from flick (n.); meaning "quick turn of the wrist" is from 1897, originally in cricket. Related: Flicked; flicking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper