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[blench] /blɛntʃ/
verb (used without object)
to shrink; flinch; quail:
an unsteady eye that blenched under another's gaze.
Origin of blench1
before 1000; Middle English blenchen, Old English blencan; cognate with Old Norse blekkja, Middle High German blenken
Related forms
blencher, noun
blenchingly, adverb
See wince1 .


[blench] /blɛntʃ/
verb (used with or without object)
to make or become pale or white; blanch.
1805-15; variant of blanch1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for blench
Historical Examples
  • They agreed, and that they might blench the less at death, she gave them a draught of wine.

    The Danish History, Books I-IX Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")
  • But she did not blench in the least, though she remembered whose words he was quoting.

    T. Tembarom Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Yet they made every churchman there blench, and the preacher changed the subject with all haste.

  • This word, sometimes confounded with ‘unblanched,’ is from blench, a causal of blink.

    Milton's Comus John Milton
  • While uttering these words, the sachem fixed a searching glance on the hunter, but the latter did not blench.

    The Queen of the Savannah Gustave Aimard
  • It did not blench, and I began to wonder if, after all, he might not be honest.

    The Princess Passes Alice Muriel Williamson and Charles Norris Williamson
  • He knew, declared Aristophanes, that the Rhodian hated him most of mortals, but he would not blench.

    Browning's Heroines Ethel Colburn Mayne
  • There too he determined to delay no longer: if the King should but blench, he knew his course.

    Shakespearean Tragedy A. C. Bradley
  • I did not blench when I learned that, judicial executions apart, ninety-nine per cent.

  • Beyond lay the bay, flashing brightly in the sunlight; but her strong eyes did not blench as she gazed.

    Friendship and Folly Maria Louise Pool
British Dictionary definitions for blench


(intransitive) to shy away, as in fear; quail
Word Origin
Old English blencan to deceive


to make or become pale or white
Word Origin
C19: variant of blanch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for blench

Old English blencan "deceive, cheat," from Proto-Germanic *blenk- "to shine, dazzle, blind," from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn" (see bleach (v.)). Sense of "move suddenly, wince, dodge" is from c.1300. Related: Blenched; blenching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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