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nictitate

[nik-ti-teyt] /ˈnɪk tɪˌteɪt/
verb (used without object), nictitated, nictitating.
1.
to wink.
Also, nictate.
Origin
1815-1825
1815-25; < Medieval Latin nictitātus, past participle of nictitāre, frequentative of Latin nictāre to wink, frequentative of nicere to beckon; see -ate1
Related forms
nictitant, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for nictitate

nictitate

/ˈnɪktɪˌteɪt/
verb
1.
technical words for blink (sense 1)
Derived Forms
nictitation, nictation, noun
Word Origin
C19: from Medieval Latin nictitāre to wink repeatedly, from Latin nictāre to wink, from nicere to beckon
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for nictitate
v.

"to wink," 1822, from Medieval Latin nictitatus, past participle of nictitare, frequentative of Latin nictare "wink, blink," related to nicere "to beckon," from PIE root *kneigwh- "to lean on, to bend" (the eyelids together). Related: Nictitated; nictitating (1713). Earlier form was nictate (v.), 1690s, from Latin nictare.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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