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blink

Line breaks: blink
Pronunciation: /blɪŋk
 
/

Definition of blink in English:

verb

[no object]
1Shut and open the eyes quickly: I blinked in astonishment [with object]: he blinked his eyes nervously she blinked away her tears
More example sentences
  • She waited for it to go away; she blinked, shut her eyes and opened them again to no avail.
  • He opened his eyes and quickly blinked as the rainwater seeped into his eyes.
  • He blinked quickly and then turned to look at the half open door where his mother was leaning inside.
Synonyms
shut and open, flutter, flicker, wink, bat
technical nictitate, nictate
1.1 [with object] (blink something back) Try to control or prevent tears by blinking: Elizabeth blinked back tears
More example sentences
  • She lay there for a few seconds before blinking the tears back.
  • Emily found her eyes full of tears, and blinked them back.
  • Her gray eyes filled with tears, but she blinked them back resolutely.
1.2 [usually with negative] (blink at) React to (something) with surprise or disapproval: he doesn’t blink at the unsavoury aspects of his subject
More example sentences
  • Well, purchasing power is up for sure and nobody blinks at a thousand rupees for a ticket anymore.
  • Why, he asks, does wearing the swastika attract widespread scorn, while no one blinks at the person wearing a hammer and sickle on his baseball cap?
  • Neither mother nor child even blinked at the scene they created.
Synonyms
be surprised, look twice, be startled, be shocked
informal boggle
1.3Back down from a confrontation: the government blinked only after losing 46 of the first 48 hearings
More example sentences
  • It looks like they're playing chicken to see who's going to blink first.
  • On the matter of generic pharmaceuticals, it seems to be a case of who blinks first.
  • Another area where enterprise customers blink is multiple sources.
2(Of a light) flash on and off in a regular or intermittent way: the car’s right-hand indicator was blinking
More example sentences
  • The overhead lights blinked once, then went out, casting the compartment in darkness.
  • A red light began blinking and flashing in the room, and an alarm went berserk.
  • At night all the lights blink and flash, and you can hear waves of screams from the rides.
Synonyms

noun

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1An act of shutting and opening the eyes very quickly: he was observing her every blink
More example sentences
  • I take long blinks and rarely look at the camera's screen.
  • Tying a balloon at the gate to the zoo, he catches the blink of a cashier before she rings up another fee, hungers for the moment a turtle slips into water.
  • Voters are seen as a strange and volatile lot, who could turn bad at the blink of an eye.
1.1A moment’s hesitation: Feargal would have given her all this without a blink
More example sentences
  • The film leaps from cityscapes to stages and back without a blink.
  • If I would get the chance I would fight them tomorrow without a blink of my eye.
  • She accepted the whole thing without a blink… although I can't say the same about my brother and father.
2A momentary gleam of light: out on the marshes there was a blink of light
More example sentences
  • The car responds with a blink of its lights and a short shriek.
  • It should come as no surprise that, when the slightest blink of yellow light came into view, I recklessly sped towards it.
  • She gave Sasha a short blink from her light and heard the car motor start.

Origin

Middle English: from blenk, Scots variant of blench1, reinforced by Middle Dutch blinken 'to shine'. Early senses included 'deceive', 'flinch' (compare with blench1), and also 'open the eyes after sleep': hence sense 1 of the verb (mid 16th century).

Phrases

in the blink of an eye (or in a blink)

1
Very quickly: software that would do lots of boring calculations in the blink of an eye
More example sentences
  • Richard was a little shocked to see her go from shy and demure to forthright and direct in the blink of an eye.
  • Dinner went by reasonably quickly, and in the blink of an eye, they were fast asleep, except for one.
  • He looks like a picture, frozen in time, one instant that happened in the blink of an eye, unnoticed and uncared for by the rest of the universe.

not blink an eye

2
Show no reaction.
Example sentences
  • We don't blink an eye at helping the mentally retarded; the fact that many poor people are intellectually inferior only bolsters their need for assistance from the more able.
  • We don't blink an eye today when we see women doing what would once be considered jobs for the boys.
  • The point is that the character's gay but the audience doesn't blink an eye.

on the blink

3
informal (Of a machine) not working properly; out of order: the computer’s on the blink
More example sentences
  • The chip fat filtering machine went on the blink and a manager decided to cut corners.
  • But it's the relatively trivial things which are the most maddening and frustrating - TVs conking out, ovens going on the blink, computers crashing.
  • In exasperation Alan finally said: ‘Either there's something wrong with your modem or your computer's on the blink.’

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