1 [flik-er]
verb (used without object)
to burn unsteadily; shine with a wavering light: The candle flickered in the wind and went out.
to move to and fro; vibrate; quiver: The long grasses flickered in the wind.
to flutter.
verb (used with object)
to cause to flicker.
an unsteady flame or light.
a flickering movement.
a brief occurrence or appearance: a flicker of hope.
Often, flickers. Slang. flick2.
Ophthalmology. the visual sensation of flickering that occurs when the interval between intermittent flashes of light is too long to permit fusion.

before 1000; Middle English flikeren (v.) Old English flicorian to flutter; cognate with Dutch flikkeren

flickeringly, adverb
flickery, adjective
unflickering, adjective
unflickeringly, adverb

1. flare, flash, gleam, shimmer.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
flicker1 (ˈflɪkə)
1.  (intr) to shine with an unsteady or intermittent light: a candle flickers
2.  (intr) to move quickly to and fro; quiver, flutter, or vibrate
3.  (tr) to cause to flicker
4.  an unsteady or brief light or flame
5.  a swift quivering or fluttering movement
6.  a visual sensation, often seen in a television image, produced by periodic fluctuations in the brightness of light at a frequency below that covered by the persistence of vision
7.  (plural) the flicker a US word for flick
[Old English flicorian; related to Dutch flikkeren, Old Norse flökra to flutter]

flicker2 (ˈflɪkə)
any North American woodpecker of the genus Colaptes, esp C. auratus (yellow-shafted flicker), which has a yellow undersurface to the wings and tail
[C19: perhaps imitative of the bird's call]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. flicorian "to flutter, flap quickly and lightly," originally of birds. Onomatopoeic of quick motion. Sense of "shine with a wavering light" is c.1600, but not common till 19c. Related: Flickered; flickering.

"woodpecker," 1808 Amer.Eng., possibly echoic of bird's note, or from white spots on plumage that seem to flicker as it flits from tree to tree.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
He bent down, seized upon it and lifted it to a flickering light with a cry of thankful joy.
We need people to be bamboozled by the flickering light of status and to spend all their money to the last penny.
The shooters fired a volley toward the flickering ears, killing four hippos.
Reflection, in a time of instant messaging, seems as quaint as the quill pen and the flickering of candles.
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