Word Origin See more synonyms for nictitate on Thesaurus.com verb (used without object), nic·ti·tat·ed, nic·ti·tat·ing. to wink.
nic·tate. Origin of nictitate 1815–25;
Medieval Latin nictitātus,
past participle of
to wink, frequentative of
to beckon; see
-ate 1 Related forms nic·ti·tant, adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Related Words bat
squint British Dictionary definitions for nictate nictitate nictate ( ˈnɪkteɪt) Derived Forms nictitation or nictation, noun Word Origin
C19: from Medieval Latin
nictitāre to wink repeatedly, from Latin nictāre to wink, from nicere to beckon
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for nictate nictitate v.
"to wink," 1822, from Medieval Latin
nictitatus, past participle of nictitare, frequentative of Latin nictare "wink, blink," related to nicere "to beckon," from PIE root *kneigwh- "to lean on, to bend" (the eyelids together). Related: Nictitated; nictitating (1713). Earlier form was nictate (v.), 1690s, from Latin nictare.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper