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Old English blind "blind," also "dark, enveloped in darkness, obscure; unintelligent, lacking mental perception," probably from West Germanic *blinda- "blind" (cf. Dutch and German blind, Old Norse blindr, Gothic blinds "blind"), perhaps, via notion of "to make cloudy, deceive," from an extended Germanic form of the PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn" (see bleach (v.)); cf. Lithuanian blendzas "blind," blesti "to become dark." The original sense, not of "sightless," but of "confused," perhaps underlies such phrases as blind alley (Chaucer's lanes blynde), which is older than the sense of "closed at one end" (1610s). In reference to doing something without seeing it first, by 1840. Of aviators flying without instruments or without clear observation, from 1919. Blindman's bluff is from 1580s.
The twilight, or rather the hour between the time when one can no longer see to read and the lighting of the candles, is commonly called blindman's holiday. [Grose, 1796]Related: Blinded; blinding.
"deprive of sight," early 13c., from Old English blendan "to blind, deprive of sight; deceive," from Proto-Germanic *blandjan (see blind (adj.)); form influenced in Middle English by the adjective. Related: Blinded; blinding.
"a blind person; blind persons collectively," late Old Engish, from blind (adj.). Meaning "place of concealment" is from 1640s. Meaning "anything that obstructs sight" is from 1702.
Unable to see; without useful sight.
Having a maximal visual acuity of the better eye, after correction by refractive lenses, of one-tenth normal vision or less (20/200 or less on the Snellen test).
Of, relating to, or for sightless persons.
Closed at one end, as a tube or sac.
A lack or impairment of vision in which maximal visual acuity after correction by refractive lenses is one-tenth normal vision or less in the better eye. Blindness can be genetic but is usually acquired as a result of injury, cataracts, or diseases such as glaucoma or diabetes. In Asia and Africa, trachoma is a common infectious cause of blindness.
Blind beggars are frequently mentioned (Matt. 9:27; 12:22; 20:30; John 5:3). The blind are to be treated with compassion (Lev. 19:14; Deut. 27:18). Blindness was sometimes a punishment for disobedience (1 Sam. 11:2; Jer. 39:7), sometimes the effect of old age (Gen. 27:1; 1 Kings 14:4; 1 Sam. 4:15). Conquerors sometimes blinded their captives (2 Kings 25:7; 1 Sam. 11:2). Blindness denotes ignorance as to spiritual things (Isa. 6:10; 42:18, 19; Matt. 15:14; Eph. 4:18). The opening of the eyes of the blind is peculiar to the Messiah (Isa. 29:18). Elymas was smitten with blindness at Paul's word (Acts 13:11).