\ ˈbliŋk How to pronounce blink (audio) \
blinked; blinking; blinks

Definition of blink

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a obsolete : to look glancingly : peep
b : to look with half-shut eyes
c : to close and open the eyes involuntarily
2 : to shine dimly or intermittently
3a : to look with too little concern
b : to look with surprise or dismay
4 : yield, give in each side waiting for the other to blink

transitive verb

1a : to cause to blink
b : to remove (something, such as tears) from the eye by blinking
2 : to deny recognition to



Definition of blink (Entry 2 of 2)

1 chiefly Scotland : glimpse, glance
3 : a usually involuntary shutting and opening of the eye
in the blink of an eye
: in an instant
on the blink
: in or into a disabled or useless condition the TV is on the blink

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Synonyms for blink

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of blink in a Sentence

Verb She blinked when the light flashed. Her eyes blinked when the light flashed. She blinked her eyes when the light flashed.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Nodding for emphasis after calling his father his friend, Jordan tries holding back tears by blinking quickly. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, "‘The Last Dance’: The 23 most fascinating takeaways from Episodes 7 and 8," 10 May 2020 The only thing missing from the video were a copy of today’s newspaper, a POW blinking SOS in Morse code, or any sight of the actual masks. Kyle Whitmire, al, "The immutable weirdness of Troy King," 9 May 2020 The officer reported seeing the vehicle go through a blinking red light while headed southbound on Victoria Lane at Country Club Boulevard, which forced the officer, who was approaching the intersection, to stop to avoid a collision. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland, "Driver pulls in front of police cruiser, cited for OVI: North Olmsted Police Blotter," 11 Apr. 2020 Past an electronic sign reminding people to wash hands, and a ShopRite so packed that the presence of a police car with blinking lights was required. Dan Barry, New York Times, "92 Years Old, Scared and Pleading to Come Home," 19 Mar. 2020 Each new disappointment, each door closing, presents rising anxiety and rage; the teenage characters, meanwhile, can only nod and blink back tears and trudge on. Kaitlin Menza, Marie Claire, "The Excruciating Necessity of 'Never Rarely Sometimes Always'," 10 Apr. 2020 Two kids sat in the back seat, blinking through the windows. Bryan Washington, The New Yorker, "The Grocers on Houston’s Front Lines," 6 Apr. 2020 Tua and his family made the right decision in turning pro, and the Miami Dolphins, to their credit, never blinked. Joseph Goodman |, al, "NFL Draft prayers answered: Tua Tagovailoa is rich," 24 Apr. 2020 Vinocour leaves us there, blinking in the wonderment of our own madness. Rachel Louise Snyder, New York Times, "Should More Defendants Be Claiming Insanity?," 24 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the blink-and-you-might-miss-it scene, Sabrina pays a quick visit to Cheryl Blossom, Elle reported. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Kiernan Shipka Confirmed “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” Includes a Brief “Riverdale” Crossover," 30 Jan. 2020 Headsets have gotten better lately, but HyperX’s Cloud Flight is considered top-tier with a comparatively blink-and-you-miss-it 30-hour lifespan. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Sennheiser's GSP 370 gaming headset touts a 100-hour battery life," 9 Oct. 2019 In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, Radcliffe can be seen portraying Fredrick's heavily-bearded father, too. Ruth Kinane,, "8 things to look out for in the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt interactive special," 12 May 2020 The problem concerns a class of blink-and-you’ll-miss-them heavenly events known as fast radio bursts (FRBs). Adam Mann, Scientific American, "Fast Radio Bursts from a Spiral Galaxy Challenge Theorists," 8 Jan. 2020 The last few weeks of what has been the best five years of my life were gone in the blink of an eye. Arthur Jones Ii, CBS News, "Aspiring NFL player writes powerful letter after father survives coronavirus," 27 Apr. 2020 Does your dog go from zero to 60 in the blink of an eye? Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "What Are “Zoomies” and Why Do Dogs Get Them?," 27 Apr. 2020 That breakthrough set off a whirlwind few months — from highs like meeting former NFL All-Pro and AAF player relations executive Hines Ward at quarterback camp, to lows like the league collapsing in the blink of an eye. Greg Luca,, "AAF was last shot at pro football for many former Commanders," 21 Apr. 2020 There was Gigi Hadid’s blink-and-you-missed-it bright yellow liner, courtesy of makeup pro Patrick Ta, and Cardi B, who adopted a French-girl state of mind, brushing on a bright red lip to accompany her new choppy bob at Chanel. Vogue, "The Best Front Row Beauty Moments From Fashion Month: Cardi B, Emily Ratajkowski, and More," 7 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blink.' 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 blink


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for blink


Middle English, to open one's eyes

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Time Traveler for blink

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for blink

Last Updated

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Blink.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for blink


How to pronounce blink (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of blink

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to close and then open your eyes very quickly
: to shine with a light that goes on and off
: to show that you are surprised or upset



English Language Learners Definition of blink (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of closing and then opening your eyes very quickly : the act of blinking


\ ˈbliŋk How to pronounce blink (audio) \
blinked; blinking

Kids Definition of blink

1 : to shut and open the eyes quickly
2 : to shine with a light that goes or seems to go on and off lights blinking
\ ˈbliŋk How to pronounce blink (audio) \

Medical Definition of blink

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to close and open the eyes involuntarily (as when struggling against drowsiness or when dazzled)

transitive verb

1 : to close and open (the eye) involuntarily
2 : to remove (as tears) from the eye by blinking



Medical Definition of blink (Entry 2 of 2)

: a usually involuntary shutting and opening of the eye

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More from Merriam-Webster on blink

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for blink

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with blink

Spanish Central: Translation of blink

Nglish: Translation of blink for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of blink for Arabic Speakers

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