blanch at

blanch at (something)

To balk or hesitate when faced with something unpleasant. This phrase can also include or describe one's visible paleness, as to "blanch" something means to whiten it. All of my friends ran into the creepy haunted house, but I blanched at the sight of it. Stella blanched at the plate of cooked ants that had been set before her.
See also: blanch

blanch at something

Fig. to cringe at something; to become pale at the thought of something. Jill blanched at the thought of swimming in that cold water. Lily blanched at the sight before her.
See also: blanch
References in classic literature ?
Let us make our deaths worth while, and at the back of this unknown warrior turn this day's Tribute to Issus into an orgy of revenge that will echo through the ages and cause black skins to blanch at each repetition of the rites of Issus.