\ 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
4 : iceblink
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

flash, twinkle, wink

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Examples of blink in a Sentence


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

For now, the Levi’s jacket features touch inputs and a tag that blinks and vibrates in sync with your phone. Amy Verner, Vogue, "The Future of Smart Fabric Is in This Fashion Historian’s Hands," 6 Mar. 2019 Research published last year has bolstered the theory that our nocturnal forebears were able to emerge, blinking into sunlight, only upon the demise of the ravenous, day-living dinosaurs, and become the new kings of the land. Christopher Solomon, Outside Online, "Humans Are Turning Mammals More Nocturnal," 14 June 2018 So far, the square was mostly blank, with a few stray dots blinking in and out of existence. Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, "Reddit and the Struggle to Detoxify the Internet," 12 Mar. 2018 Accidentally blinking in photographs may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a new application of artificial intelligence developed by Facebook. Jonathan Sperling, Fortune, "Facebook's Engineers Can Open Your Blinking Eyes in Photos Using AI," 19 June 2018 If something gets in your eye like eyelid skin flakes or eye crust, blinking is a natural reflex to try to get rid of that debris, Dr. Massaro-Giordano says. Korin Miller, SELF, "10 Symptoms of Blepharitis, a Bizarre Condition That Can Affect Your Eyes," 7 June 2018 The court blinked on speech and addressed religion from the standpoint of the state's hostility toward Phillips. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Five takeaways from Supreme Court's decision in favor of Colorado baker who turned away gay couple," 4 June 2018 Americans' ability to live without export revenue ran out before the British blinked. Noah Feldman, Anchorage Daily News, "James Madison would like a few words on trade wars," 7 Mar. 2018 Markets barely blinked after North Korea conducted a new missile launch Friday, penetrating Japanese airspace once again. Gabrielle Banks, Houston Chronicle, "Texas prisons begin effort to move inmates back to overheated unit at center of lawsuit," 19 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Luckily, that moment typically passes in the blink of an eye. Marci Robin, Allure, "Doctors Found Bees Living in a Woman's Eye and I Now Wear Goggles 24 Hours a Day," 11 Apr. 2019 Two buses showed up in a blink, scooping up everybody in line. Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, "Winter Olympics postcard: Worst part about these Games? Yet to find it," 19 Feb. 2018 Some viewers were quick to react to the blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment on social media. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Emma Stone Apologized for Whitewashing in Aloha in the Middle of the Golden Globes Monologue," 7 Jan. 2019 Without a host to set it up, the comment is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-moment that lands like a punch. Ellen Gamerman, WSJ, "Listen Up, This Podcast Will Just Take a Minute," 31 Dec. 2018 But there's a blink-and-you-missed-it moment that happens early on in the video—also during a Mean Girls montage—that's just as surprising. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Ariana Grande Wrote an Apology to Pete Davidson in Her 'Thank U, Next' Video," 30 Nov. 2018 In the blink-and-you'll-miss-it clip, Meghan looks pleased and excited to spend some post-wedding one-on-one time with her gown. Andrea Park, Allure, "Watch Meghan Markle Reunite With Her Wedding Dress for the First Time Since Marrying Prince Harry," 18 Sep. 2018 One of the players Fowler would probably trade places with in a blink, Berger, sensed a change before the last groups even stepped foot on the course Saturday. Joan Niesen,, "USGA's Unplayable Course at Shinnecock 'Totally Gone' in Third Round of U.S. Open," 16 June 2018 The dynamic, unpredictable songs shifted across imaginary continents in a blink, just like this day of music. Greg Kot,, "SXSW goes global: Trupa Trupa's post-punk to Gato Preto's dance party in Austin," 17 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for blink

Last Updated

21 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for blink

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

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More Definitions for blink



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with blink

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for blink

Spanish Central: Translation of blink

Nglish: Translation of blink for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of blink for Arabic Speakers

Comments on blink

What made you want to look up blink? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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