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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged


2 [flik-er]
any of several American woodpeckers of the genus Colaptes, having the underside of the wings and tail brightly marked with yellow or red and noted for taking insects from the ground as well as trees.

1800–10, Americanism; said to be imitative of the bird's note

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To flicker
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Yet that is still only a flicker of what is possible.
There was a flicker of interest in the problem a few years ago but it was
  snuffed out by the recession.
It has also increased the market's sensitivity to upsets which during times of
  plenty would barely cause the price to flicker.
Or rather, dozens of overlapping micro-wars flicker, in which almost all the
  victims are civilians.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature