\ ˈblaŋk \

Definition of blank 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 archaic : colorless

2a : appearing or causing to appear dazed, confounded, or nonplussed stared in blank dismay

b : expressionless a blank stare

3a : devoid of covering or content a blank space : such as

(1) : free from writing or marks a blank sheet of paper

(2) : without any recorded sound or information a blank drive/DVD/disk

b : having spaces to be filled in a blank application form — see also blank check

c : lacking interest, variety, or change blank hours

4 : absolute, unqualified a blank refusal

5 : unfinished especially : having a plain or unbroken surface where an opening is usual a blank key a blank arch



Definition of blank (Entry 2 of 3)

1 obsolete : the bull's-eye of a target

2a : an empty space (as on a paper)

b : a paper with spaces for the entry of data an order blank

3a : a piece of material prepared to be made into something (such as a key) by a further operation

b : a cartridge loaded with propellant and a seal but no projectile

4a : an empty or featureless place or space my mind was a blank

b : a vacant or uneventful period a long blank in history

5 : a dash substituting for an omitted word


blanked; blanking; blanks

Definition of blank (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : obscure, obliterate blank out a line

b : to stop access to : seal blank off a tunnel

2 : to keep (an opponent) from scoring were blanked for eight innings

3 British slang : to treat (a friend or acquaintance) in a hostile or unfriendly way : to ignore or refuse to talk to (someone) And unpopular Gardiner has found himself isolated after the show's cast and crew blanked him. —Mark Jefferies

intransitive verb

1 : fade usually used with out the music blanked out

2 : to become confused or abstracted often used with out his mind blanked out momentarily

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Other words from blank


blankly adverb
blankness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for blank

Synonyms: Adjective

catatonic, deadpan, empty, expressionless, impassive, inexpressive, numb, stolid, vacant

Synonyms: Noun

black hole, blankness, emptiness, vacancy, vacuity, void

Antonyms: Adjective

demonstrative, expressive

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Choose the Right Synonym for blank


empty, vacant, blank, void, vacuous mean lacking contents which could or should be present. empty suggests a complete absence of contents. an empty bucket vacant suggests an absence of appropriate contents or occupants. a vacant apartment blank stresses the absence of any significant, relieving, or intelligible features on a surface. a blank wall void suggests absolute emptiness as far as the mind or senses can determine. a statement void of meaning vacuous suggests the emptiness of a vacuum and especially the lack of intelligence or significance. a vacuous facial expression

Examples of blank in a Sentence


a blank sheet of paper a book with blank pages


The form has a blank for your signature. The actors are shooting blanks.


The goalie blanked the Falcons for two periods in the hockey game.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In the security camera video, the hooded and masked man can be seen approaching a BMW sitting in stopped traffic and firing three shots at point blank range through the driver’s side window, which was half-opened and smashed by a bullet. Gary Gastelu, Fox News, "Police searching for gunman who shot at driver 3 times while she sat in traffic," 10 July 2018 After just a couple of CPU cycles, you land on a blank page to begin your masterpiece. Chris Wilkinson, Ars Technica, "1990, meet 2018: How far does 20MHz of Macintosh IIsi power go today?," 1 July 2018 For West, opportunity began with a blank page on which Robinson wrote his name top and center, followed by contact information. Tommy Rowan,, "After 14 years in prison, ex-con fills out his first resume - and hopes," 12 June 2018 Lipka, in particular, appears to delight in being a blank page, shrugging with dozy glee at the most probing questions. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Slick but Empty True Crime of American Animals," 1 June 2018 Transforming a blank page into a page filled with words is agonizing. Aaron Couch, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Upgrade' Director Leigh Whannell on Box Office Pressures and Visiting 'Aquaman' Set," 1 June 2018 Police say DelTondo was shot at point blank range and died in the driveway. CBS News, "Mother of slain teacher lashes out at police department probing her murder," 30 May 2018 And midway through Sirhan's trial, prosecutors provided his lawyers with an autopsy report that launched five decades of controversy: Kennedy was shot four times at point-blank range from behind, including the fatal shot behind his ear. The Washington Post,, "Who killed Bobby Kennedy? His son RFK Jr. doesn't believe it was Sirhan Sirhan," 27 May 2018 And midway through Sirhan’s trial, prosecutors provided his lawyers with an autopsy report that launched five decades of controversy: Kennedy was shot four times at point-blank range from behind, including the fatal shot behind his ear. Author: Tom Jackman, Anchorage Daily News, "Who killed Bobby Kennedy? His son RFK Jr. doesn’t believe it was Sirhan Sirhan.," 26 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Next year, the Lakers could realistically (just play along) start a lineup of Lonzo Ball, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, James, and (fill-in-the-blank… Kyle Kuzma?), which would give him as good a title shot as either Houston or Philly. The Crossover Staff,, "What's LeBron's Best Option This Summer? Debating 10 Teams and One Crazy Idea," 5 June 2018 Hopefully, these are just the legions of the miserable who have nothing better to do than hang out on social media and complain about how they have been wronged by (fill in the blank). Mike Bianchi,, "UCF fans, don't forget Scott Frost is the reason you can claim a national championship," 10 May 2018 According to results posted on the town website, there were 1,408 blanks and eight write-ins in that race. Jean Lang,, "Hingham chooses two new faces for School Committee," 2 May 2018 As census-takers of course the father and son form an arm of government, and yet the state is mostly a blank. Ellie Robins,, "Jesse Ball's 'Census' is an understated tale of a father and son taking stock of America," 9 Mar. 2018 The bees chose the blank page 60 to 70 percent of the time. Brian Resnick, Vox, "The mind-bendy weirdness of the number zero, explained," 5 July 2018 But if asked to picture the lives of contemporary urban Native Americans, might not many readers would draw a complete blank? Joan Gaylord, The Christian Science Monitor, "'There There' weaves a powerful tale of contemporary urban Native Americans," 2 July 2018 Poetz deftly filled in the blanks as the owner gave an overview of the business. John Tuohy, Indianapolis Star, "Fishers mayor removed from office, but it's his choice," 25 June 2018 Why not fill in blanks with the least judgmental option? Carolyn Hax, Detroit Free Press, "Friend inserts God into every conversation," 24 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Three Lions overcame their putrid penalty past to get by Colombia in the round of 16 before blanking Sweden 2-0 in the quarterfinals. Avi Creditor,, "LIVE: Croatia, England Vie for Place in World Cup Final vs. France," 11 July 2018 The senior pitcher/first baseman put goose eggs on the scoreboard at the Panther Athletic Complex April 30 as the Crusaders blanked Elder 10-0 to clinch the Greater Catholic League-South. Scott Springer,, "Moeller baseball's Mo Schaffer throws key GCL-South no-no, considers walking on at UC," 9 May 2018 Ben Meyer gave up one hit in five innings and combined with two relievers on a two-hit shutout as the New Orleans Baby Cakes blanked the Nashville Sounds, 4-0 on Sunday afternoon., "Baby (Cakes), it's cold outside as N.O. shuts out Sounds," 8 Apr. 2018 The Rainiers got exceptional work from relief pitchers Darin Gillies, Tyler Higgins and Shawn Armstrong, who blanked the Bees (43-33) over the last four innings. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "Rainiers edge Salt Lake Bees to earn series split," 24 June 2018 Froio assisted on a Will Thomas goal in the final minute of the opening quarter, prior to completing his hat trick 44 seconds into the second quarter – a frame in which Cohasset blanked Norwell, 5-0. Jake Levin,, "BC High, Acton-Boxboro to meet for Division 1 boys’ lacrosse state title," 16 June 2018 Coleman will face Centreville, which blanked Unionville-Sebewaing, 4-0. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Bishop Foley, Gabriel Richard will meet in Division 3 baseball title game," 15 June 2018 But a system which could blank out ELF communications and selectively interfere with other satellite communications would severely affect any submarine operations in the South China Sea. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "China's Giant Ionosphere-Zapping Radar Is a Defense System Masquerading as Science," 12 June 2018 Fehmel scattered three hits over eight innings, Trevor Larnach and Nick Madrigal drove in two runs each, and No. 4 Oregon State blanked the Cardinal 10-0 to clinch their Pac-12 series before another record crowd of 3,864 at Goss Stadium. Ron Richmond For The Oregonian/oregonlive,, "No. 4 Oregon State baseball clinches series against No. 2 Stanford," 12 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blank.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of blank


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1764, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for blank


Middle English, from Anglo-French blanc colorless, white, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German blanch white; probably akin to Latin flagrare to burn — more at black

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Statistics for blank

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for blank

The first known use of blank was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for blank



English Language Learners Definition of blank

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: without any writing, marks, or pictures

: having empty spaces to be filled in with information : not yet written in or filled out

: without any recorded sound or information



English Language Learners Definition of blank (Entry 2 of 3)

: an empty space on a document where you put information

: a period of time that you cannot remember anything about

: a gun cartridge that is filled with powder but that does not contain a bullet



English Language Learners Definition of blank (Entry 3 of 3)

: to keep (the opposing team) from scoring

: to behave in an unfriendly way toward (someone you have been friendly with in the past) : to ignore or refuse to talk to (someone)


\ ˈblaŋk \

Kids Definition of blank

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not having any writing or marks a blank page

2 : having empty spaces to be filled in a blank order form

3 : not showing emotion or understanding a blank look



Kids Definition of blank (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an empty space in a line of writing or printing

2 : a paper with empty spaces to be filled in “Do you have your entry blank for the dog show?” —Beverly Cleary, Henry Huggins

3 : a cartridge loaded with powder but no bullet

4 : events or a time that cannot be remembered Everything after the accident is a blank.

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