in the twinkling of an eye

In an instant, as in The breakup of Yugoslavia created many warring nations in the twinkling of an eye. This hyperbolic expression, which alludes to the very brief time it takes for an eye to blink, is heard less often today. [c. 1300]


Nearby words

  1. in the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love,
  2. in the street,
  3. in the swim,
  4. in the teeth of,
  5. in the throes,
  6. in the unlikely event,
  7. in the wake of,
  8. in the way,
  9. in the wind,
  10. in the wings

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