from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To close and open one or both of the eyes rapidly.
  • intransitive v. To look through half-closed eyes, as in a bright glare; squint.
  • intransitive v. To shine with intermittent gleams; flash on and off.
  • intransitive v. To be startled or dismayed.
  • intransitive v. To waver or back down, as in a contest of wills: "This was the first genuine, direct confrontation between this administration and the Soviets. It was the U.S.A. that blinked” ( Zbigniew Brzezinski).
  • intransitive v. To look with feigned ignorance: a mayor who blinks at the corruption in city government.
  • transitive v. To cause to blink.
  • transitive v. To hold back or remove from the eyes by blinking: blinked back the tears.
  • transitive v. To refuse to recognize or face: blink ugly facts.
  • transitive v. To transmit (a message) with a flashing light.
  • n. The act or an instance of rapidly closing and opening the eyes or an eye.
  • n. An instant: I'll be back in a blink.
  • n. Scots A quick look or glimpse; a glance.
  • n. A flash of light; a twinkle.
  • n. See iceblink.
  • idiom on the blink Out of working order.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To close and reopen both eyes quickly.
  • v. To flash headlights on a car.
  • v. To send a signal with a lighting device.
  • v. To flash on and off at regular intervals.
  • v. To perform the smallest action that could solicit a response.
  • n. The act of very quickly closing both eyes and opening them again.
  • n. The time needed to close and reopen one's eyes.
  • n. A text formatting feature that causes text to disappear and reappear as a form of visual emphasis.
  • n. A glimpse or glance.
  • n. gleam; glimmer; sparkle
  • n. The dazzling whiteness about the horizon caused by the reflection of light from fields of ice at sea; iceblink
  • n. Boughs cast where deer are to pass, in order to turn or check them.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A glimpse or glance.
  • n. Gleam; glimmer; sparkle.
  • n. The dazzling whiteness about the horizon caused by the reflection of light from fields of ice at sea; ice blink.
  • n. Boughs cast where deer are to pass, to turn or check them.
  • intransitive v. To wink; to twinkle with, or as with, the eye.
  • intransitive v. To see with the eyes half shut, or indistinctly and with frequent winking, as a person with weak eyes.
  • intransitive v. To shine, esp. with intermittent light; to twinkle; to flicker; to glimmer, as a lamp.
  • intransitive v. To turn slightly sour, as beer, mild, etc.
  • transitive v. To shut out of sight; to avoid, or purposely evade; to shirk.
  • transitive v. To trick; to deceive.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To wink rapidly and repeatedly; nictitate.
  • To see with the eyes half shut or with frequent winking, as a person with weak eyes; hence, to get a glimpse; peep.
  • Figuratively, to look askance or indifferently.
  • To intermit light; glimmer: as “a blinking lamp,”
  • To gleam transiently but cheerfully; smile; look kindly.
  • 6. To become a little stale or sour: said of milk or beer.
  • To deceive; elude; shun.
  • To see or catch sight of with half-shut eyes; dimly see; wink at.
  • Figuratively, to shut one's eyes to; avoid or purposely evade; shirk: as, to blink a question.
  • To balk at; pass by; shirk: as, a dog that never blinked a bird.
  • To blindfold; hoodwink.
  • n. A glance of the eye; a glimpse.
  • n. A gleam; a glimmer; specifically, the gleam or glimmer reflected from ice in the polar regions: hence the term ice-blink (which see).
  • n. A very short time; a twinkling: as, bide a blink.
  • n. A trick; a scheme.
  • n. plural Boughs thrown to turn aside deer from their course; also, feathers, etc., on a thread to scare birds.
  • n. A fishermen's name for the mackerel when about a year old. See spike and tinker.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. gleam or glow intermittently
  • v. briefly shut the eyes
  • n. a reflex that closes and opens the eyes rapidly
  • v. force to go away by blinking


Probably Middle English blinken, to move suddenly, variant of blenchen; see blench1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle Dutch blinken. Related to blank. (Wiktionary)



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  • LOTS of Am. Heritage definition #5 in political news recently!

    February 12, 2010

  • SonofGroucho, this *is* a classic wordie page. brtom hasn't commented in ages, and I've already added it to one of my conversations lists. :)

    October 5, 2007

  • And don't make seanahan stabby.. you wouldn't like him when he's stabby.

    October 5, 2007

  • This makes me stabby.

    October 5, 2007

  • < blink > </ blink > without the spaces.

    ETA: I <blink>♥</blink> the blink tag.

    SON OF ETA: Uselessness macros for the win!

    October 5, 2007

  • This could become a classic Wordie page.

    October 5, 2007

  • Women <blink>blink</blink> nearly twice as much as men. Urban legend?

    October 5, 2007

  • Ouch! You're hurting my eyes! ;-)

    July 14, 2007


    July 14, 2007

  • Like Omigod, you are <blink>totally</blink> using Firefox!


    July 14, 2007

  • Oh, nevermind then. Lou Montulli is the jerk programmer (I keed, I keed) who invented the blink tag. He did a lot of good stuff too, but c'mon. The blink tag. Ewww.

    July 14, 2007

  • I'm totally using Firefox. If yours decided not to show marquees and mine didn't, I'm a more than a little bit jealous.

    July 14, 2007

  • I do see it now! I must not have waited long enough because it seems to take an awfully long time to scroll over.

    July 14, 2007

  • who the hell is Lou Montulli?

    July 14, 2007

  • HA HA HA! Guess Firefox just couldn't hack it.

    Look Ma, I'm marqueeing with no hands!

    July 14, 2007

  • I don't think I've seen one of those since 1994.

    And for good reason. :-0

    EDIT: You got rid of it. It was working fine! Err, as it was designed to. I'd hardly call it "fine."

    July 14, 2007

  • I secretly kind of like it.

    Sadly, marquee doesn't seem to work.

    July 14, 2007

  • Ugh. The bane of the internet since 1994. Thanks a lot, Lou Montulli.

    July 14, 2007

  • BLINK.

    July 14, 2007

  • "The man of science like the man in the street has to face hardheaded facts that cannot be blinked and explain them as best he can. "
    Joyce, Ulysses, 14

    January 22, 2007