blink

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blink-and-you-miss-it

(used as a modifier before a noun) Of such a brief duration or small size as to be easily missed. I was excited to be in the movie, but it was really just a blink-and-you-miss-it part.

blink of an eye

Very quickly; in a very short period of time. Usually used in the phrase "in the blink of an eye." When we got into that car accident, our lives changed in the blink of an eye. Watch the baby closely, she can get into something dangerous in the blink of an eye.
See also: blink, eye, of

blink at something

 
1. Lit. to open and close the eyelids quickly, one or more times. I blinked at the bright light and finally had to close my eyes. Don't blink at me while I am trying to take your picture.
2. Fig. to overlook something, such as a mistake. (As if one had blinked one's eyes rather than seeing the error.) I just can't blink at that kind of behavior. We can't blink at what evil you did.
See also: blink

blink one's tears back

Fig. to try to keep from crying. She blinked back her tears and went on. He blinked his tears back and endured the pain.
See also: back, blink, tear

on the fritz

 and on the blink
not operating; not operating correctly. This vacuum cleaner is on the fritz. Let's get it fixed. How long has it been on the blink?
See also: fritz, on

in the blink of an eye

extremely quickly There was a huge "boom" and in the blink of an eye the buildings were gone.
See also: blink, eye, of

on the blink

not operating well The computers in the accounting department are always on the blink and the bills don't get paid on time.
See also: blink, on

on the fritz

not working in the usual way, or not working at all The washing machine is on the fritz.
Usage notes: usually said of machines
See also: fritz, on

before somebody could blink

very quickly or suddenly Before you could blink, he'd grabbed the purse and was halfway down the street.
See also: before, blink, could

be on the blink

  (informal)
if a machine is on the blink, it is not working as it should I think the photocopier's on the blink.
See also: blink, on

in the blink of an eye

extremely quickly In the blink of an eye the handsome prince was transformed into an ugly frog.
See also: blink, eye, of

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 drive-our 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.
See also: blink, on

on the fritz

see under on the blink.
See also: fritz, on

on the blink

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.
See also: blink, on

on the fritz

1. mod. not functioning properly. My watch is on the fritz.
2. mod. alcohol intoxicated. She drank till she was totally on the fritz.
See also: fritz, on

in the blink of an eye

Very quickly.
See also: blink, eye, of

on the blink

Out of working order.
See also: blink, on

without blinking an eye

Without showing any reaction.
See also: blink, eye, without
References in classic literature ?
The official blinked doubtfully, as if affected by the dim light of the room.
But the sense of being blinked at watchfully behind the blind glitter of these eye-glasses on the other side of the table disconcerted him.
From previous research, scientists knew that humans blinked more than is physiologically necessary to lubricate their eyes.
I saw him once on The Sportsman Channel, and I don't think he blinked for the entire show.
They noticed audiences waited for the action to slow then all blinked at the same time.
By contrast, people blinked at different times while watching films of fish swimming or a Japanese actor reading from a Harry Potter book.
This meant that the light falling on the retina in the eye remained constant even when the participants blinked.
He said the IRA man turned Education Minister used to make his skin crawl because he never blinked.
It seems like you haven't blinked in ages, but of course that's not possible.
He allegedly got his nickname because he would kill anyone who blinked at him.
Hardman Blink, allegedly given his nickname because he would kill anyone who blinked at him, was freed the next month.
However, when the team looked at the videotape, they found newcasters blinked once every second on average.