on the blink

blink

[blingk]
verb (used without object)
1.
to open and close the eye, especially involuntarily; wink rapidly and repeatedly.
2.
to look with winking or half-shut eyes: I blinked at the harsh morning light.
3.
to be startled, surprised, or dismayed (usually followed by at ): She blinked at his sudden fury.
4.
to look evasively or with indifference; ignore (often followed by at ): to blink at another's eccentricities.
5.
to shine unsteadily, dimly, or intermittently; twinkle: The light on the buoy blinked in the distance.
verb (used with object)
6.
to open and close (the eye or eyes), usually rapidly and repeatedly; wink: She blinked her eyes in an effort to wake up.
7.
to cause (something) to blink: We blinked the flashlight frantically, but there was no response.
8.
to ignore deliberately; evade; shirk.
noun
9.
an act of blinking: The faithful blink of the lighthouse.
10.
a gleam; glimmer: There was not a blink of light anywhere.
11.
Chiefly Scot. a glance or glimpse.
12.
Meteorology.
Idioms
13.
on the blink, not in proper working order; in need of repair: The washing machine is on the blink again.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English blinken (v.), variant of blenken to blench1; cognate with Dutch, German blinken


1. See wink1. 8. overlook, disregard, avoid, condone. 9. wink, flicker, twinkle, flutter.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To on the blink
Collins
World English Dictionary
blink (blɪŋk)
 
vb (when tr, usually foll by at) (when intr, foll by at)
1.  to close and immediately reopen (the eyes or an eye), usually involuntarily
2.  (intr) to look with the eyes partially closed, as in strong sunlight
3.  to shine intermittently, as in signalling, or unsteadily
4.  (tr; foll by away, from, etc) to clear the eyes of (dust, tears, etc)
5.  to be surprised or amazed: he blinked at the splendour of the ceremony
6.  to pretend not to know or see (a fault, injustice, etc)
 
n
7.  the act or an instance of blinking
8.  a glance; glimpse
9.  short for iceblink
10.  slang on the blink not working properly
 
[C14: variant of blench1; related to Middle Dutch blinken to glitter, Danish blinke to wink, Swedish blinka]

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

blink
1580s, from M.Du. blinken "to glitter," of uncertain origin (possibly akin to bleach; cf. Ger. blinken "to gleam, sparkle, twinkle"). M.E. used blekne in this sense, related to blench (q.v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang Dictionary

on the blink definition


  1. mod.
    out of order; ill. (See also on the fritz.) : My refrigerator is on the blink again.
  2. mod.
    alcohol intoxicated; on a drinking spree. : They all went out and got on the blink.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

on the blink

Also, on the bum or fritz. Malfunctioning, out of order, broken, as in The TV is on the blink again, or You driveour car's on the bum. The first of these slangy expressions dates from the late 1800s and possibly alludes to an electric light that flickers on and off ("blinks"); the second, from the same period, possibly is derived from bum in the sense of "a contemptible person"; the third, fritz, dating from about 1900, is of unknown origin.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;