bat an eyelid

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bat an eyelid

To display a subtle emotional reaction, such as consternation, annoyance, sadness, joy, etc. Generally used in the negative to denote that the person in question did not display even a hint of an emotional response. Mary didn't even bat an eyelid when I told her I was moving out. That guy is dangerous. I heard he killed a man without batting an eyelid.
See also: bat, eyelid

not bat an eyelid

To not display even a hint of an emotional response, such as consternation, annoyance, sadness, joy, etc. Mary didn't even bat an eyelid when I told her I was moving out. That guy is dangerous. I heard he killed a man without batting an eyelid.
See also: bat, eyelid, not

not bat an eyelid

 and not bat an eye
Fig. to show no signs of distress even when something bad happens or something shocking is said. Sam didn't bat an eyelid when the mechanic told him how much the car repairs would cost. The pain of the broken arm must have hurt Sally terribly, but she did not bat an eyelid.
See also: bat, eyelid, not

not bat an eyelid

or

not bat an eyelash

mainly BRITISH
COMMON If someone does not bat an eyelid or does not bat an eyelash when something happens, they do not appear at all shocked or surprised by it. Even when told that a room in the hotel cost £235 per night, he didn't bat an eyelid. I thought Sarah would be embarrassed but she didn't bat an eyelid. This place could have burned to the ground, and he wouldn't have batted an eyelash. Note: You can also say that someone does something without batting an eyelid or without batting an eyelash. Mum would cater for a hundred people without batting an eyelid. Note: The usual American expression is not bat an eye.
See also: bat, eyelid, not

not bat an eyelid (or eye)

show no emotional or other reaction. informal
Bat in this sense is perhaps a dialect and US variant of the verb bate meaning ‘lower or let down’. The variant not blink an eye is also found.
1997 James Ryan Dismantling Mr Doyle She did not bat an eyelid when Eve spelled out the unorthodox details of the accommodation they required.
See also: bat, eyelid, not

not bat an ˈeyelid

(British English) (American English not bat an ˈeye) (informal) not seem surprised, worried, afraid, etc: She didn’t bat an eyelid when they told her she’d lost her job. She just calmly walked out.
See also: bat, eyelid, not
References in periodicals archive ?
Prisons inspector Nick Hardwick said it was the most dangerous he had ever visited and that Charles Dickens could write about it without batting an eyelid.
Worse, Stacey Slater's return has gone from funny - her Dick Turpin routine, scarpering with a scarf over her face - to the same old daft flannel, with the wanted knifewoman visiting jail with no one batting an eyelid.
People who say "neigh" to horsemeat do so because they find ponies loveable, but lambs, pigs, chickens and others are killed for food without many people so much as batting an eyelid or considering their ordeal.
Bernard's parents are so busy doing their own thing that a monster can eat Bernard's dinner, break his toys and even eat Bernard, without them batting an eyelid.
A GRISLY hoard of bodies had been found in Norton - but the police were not batting an eyelid.
He's used four-letter words to a small boy without batting an eyelid.
I passed two of these troupes coming in the opposite direction, pushing a cart and chatting happily away to each other and, as I did so, they rolled the cart through a pile of broken glass from a discarded beer bottle without batting an eyelid.
The includes the Price Commission who apparently let an increase of 50 per cent, go through without batting an eyelid or, I suspect, without carrying out any sort of investigation at all.
IT seems incredible that, despite contraception, millions of unborn children incapable of speaking for themselves can be slaughtered with hardly anyone batting an eyelid.
After all, the bureaucrats went ahead with the Millennium Dome and the Scottish Parliament without batting an eyelid.
Since we overheard a middle-aged man using the f-word at least six times while shouting at his elderly mother in the street the other day - with neither of them batting an eyelid - we're allowed to be shocked but not surprised.
The best thing is when my six-year-old daughter Jodie holds my bionic hand in the street without batting an eyelid.
Many English, Welsh and people of other racial extraction resident in Wales see no reason why our AMs should have to go cap in hand to Westminster for permission to make decisions Scotland can do without batting an eyelid.
If we are to discuss noise nuisance, a Birmingham City councillor should be forced to sit or reside between Coventry Road and Regents Park Road, Small Heath, and listen to the deafening fire crackers/fireworks that are released almost every evening without anyone batting an eyelid.