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8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary

flicker1

[flik-er] /ˈflɪk ər/
verb (used without object)
1.
to burn unsteadily; shine with a wavering light:
The candle flickered in the wind and went out.
2.
to move to and fro; vibrate; quiver:
The long grasses flickered in the wind.
3.
to flutter.
verb (used with object)
4.
to cause to flicker.
noun
5.
an unsteady flame or light.
6.
a flickering movement.
7.
a brief occurrence or appearance:
a flicker of hope.
8.
Often, flickers. Slang. flick2 .
9.
Ophthalmology. the visual sensation of flickering that occurs when the interval between intermittent flashes of light is too long to permit fusion.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English flikeren (v.) Old English flicorian to flutter; cognate with Dutch flikkeren
Related forms
flickeringly, adverb
flickery, adjective
unflickering, adjective
unflickeringly, adverb
Synonyms
1. flare, flash, gleam, shimmer.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for flickering
  • He bent down, seized upon it and lifted it to a flickering light with a cry of thankful joy.
  • Reflection, in a time of instant messaging, seems as quaint as the quill pen and the flickering of candles.
  • We need people to be bamboozled by the flickering light of status and to spend all their money to the last penny.
  • One imagines chanting and drumming, the animals on the great pillars seeming to move in flickering torchlight.
  • The trees are doing their best, but year by year the flickering red number is climbing.
  • The room is dark, bathed in gently flickering light.
  • The shooters fired a volley toward the flickering ears, killing four hippos.
  • Pilots occasionally report temporary flickering of lights or short-lived interference with instruments.
  • The refresh rate of a display device is crucial in presenting a non-flickering image.
  • The constantly flickering colors attract your attention in a way that the static portrait does not.
British Dictionary definitions for flickering

flicker1

/ˈflɪkə/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to shine with an unsteady or intermittent light: a candle flickers
2.
(intransitive) to move quickly to and fro; quiver, flutter, or vibrate
3.
(transitive) to cause to flicker
noun
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.
(pl) the flicker, a US word for flick2 (sense 2)
Derived Forms
flickeringly, adverb
flickery, adjective
Word Origin
Old English flicorian; related to Dutch flikkeren, Old Norse flökra to flutter

flicker2

/ˈflɪkə/
noun
1.
any North American woodpecker of the genus Colaptes, esp C. auratus (yellow-shafted flicker), which has a yellow undersurface to the wings and tail
Word Origin
C19: perhaps imitative of the bird's call
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 flickering

flicker

v.

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

n.

1849, "wavering, unsteady light or flame;" 1857 as "a flickering," from flicker (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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