flicker

1 of 3

verb

flick·​er ˈfli-kər How to pronounce flicker (audio)
flickered; flickering ˈfli-k(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce flicker (audio)

intransitive verb

1
: to move irregularly or unsteadily : flutter
Shadows flickered on the wall.
2
: to burn or shine fitfully or with a fluctuating light
a candle flickering in the window
3
: to appear or pass briefly or quickly
Thoughts flickered through his mind.
A smile flickered across her face.

transitive verb

1
: to cause to flicker
2
: to produce by flickering

flicker

2 of 3

noun (1)

1
a
: an act of flickering
b
: a sudden brief movement
the flicker of an eyelash
c
: a momentary quickening
a flicker of anger
d
: a slight indication : hint
a flicker of recognition
2
a
: a wavering light
the flicker of a candle
b
: a repeated momentary defect in a cathode-ray tube image caused especially by slow scanning of the screen
3
dated, informal : movie
often used in plural
flickery adjective

flicker

3 of 3

noun (2)

: a large barred and spotted North American woodpecker (Colaptes auratus) with a brown back that commonly forages on the ground for ants compare red-shafted flicker, yellow-shafted flicker

Examples of flicker in a Sentence

Verb A TV was flickering in the background. The overhead light kept flickering off and on. Thoughts flickered through his mind. A smile flickered across her face. Noun (1) as a child, the future director would spend hours sitting in the theater, totally entranced by the flickers usually there's a flicker in car sales when the new models come out there was a flicker of recognition in her eye when I mentioned his name, but she denied knowing him
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Choose art inspired by vintage illustrations or autumnal landscapes, and opt for brass candlesticks with flickering candles over bright overhead lights. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 4 June 2024 Monet’s unmixed dabs of paint are laid down on the surface of the canvas, just like the spots of fractured light of the orange sun quivering behind gray fog and flickering across the blue-green surface of the watery harbor at dawn. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 21 May 2024
Noun
The light offers all of the features of its predecessor while improving output, flicker, and dimming. Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 5 June 2024 The relationship will continue to persist, or flicker on, in an imperfect state and with diminishing returns for a considerable period of time. Happymon Jacob, Foreign Affairs, 22 Sep. 2022 See all Example Sentences for flicker 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'flicker.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English flikeren, from Old English flicorian

Noun (2)

probably imitative of its call

First Known Use

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun (1)

1822, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

1809, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of flicker was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near flicker

Cite this Entry

“Flicker.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flicker. Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

flicker

1 of 3 verb
flick·​er ˈflik-ər How to pronounce flicker (audio)
flickered; flickering -(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce flicker (audio)
1
: to move irregularly or unsteadily : flutter
2
: to burn unsteadily or with a constantly changing light
a flickering candle

flicker

2 of 3 noun
1
: an act of flickering
2
: a brief stirring
a flicker of interest
3
: a flickering light
flickery adjective

flicker

3 of 3 noun
: a large insect-eating North American woodpecker with a black crescent on the breast and yellow or red on the underside of the wings and tail compare red-shafted flicker, yellow-shafted flicker

Medical Definition

flicker

noun
flick·​er ˈflik-ər How to pronounce flicker (audio)
: the wavering or fluttering visual sensation produced by intermittent light when the interval between flashes is not small enough to produce complete fusion of the individual impressions

More from Merriam-Webster on flicker

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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