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

be on the blink

1. slang Of a machine, to be acting strangely or malfunctioning. Our washer is on the blink, so I'm on my way to the laundromat. Mom called the repairman because our TV is on the blink again.
2. slang Of a person, to be drunk. Do you remember last night at the bar at all? You were really on the blink!
See also: blink, on

before (one) could blink

Quickly or suddenly. Before I could blink, a deer darted out in front of my car, and I had to slam on my brakes.
See also: before, blink, could

before (one) can blink

Quickly or suddenly. I'm not far from your house, so I'll be there before you can blink.
See also: before, blink, can

blink at (something)

1. Literally, to quickly open and close one's eyes, perhaps several times in succession. I had to blink at the bright sunlight that blinded me when I stepped out of the house.
2. To ignore something, often because it is unpleasant. I've been blinking at the strange issue with my car because I don't have the money to get it repaired right now.
See also: blink

blink tears back

To try to stop oneself from crying. I often have to blink tears back when I listen to a sappy love song on the radio. The poor student was so nervous on stage that she was clearly blinking tears back.
See also: back, blink, tear

blink back tears

To try to stop oneself from crying. I often have to blink back tears when I listen to a sappy love song on the radio. The poor student was so nervous on stage that she was clearly blinking back tears.
See also: back, blink, tear

in the blink of an eye

So quickly as to seem almost imperceptible (i.e., in the space of time it takes a person to blink). The high-speed camera reveals how the frog uses its specialized tongue to capture the insect in the blink of an eye. Working on Wall Street, you get used to massive financial changes happening in the blink of an eye.
See also: blink, eye, of

on the blink

1. Not working correctly; acting strangely; malfunctioning. Our washer is on the blink, so I'm on my way to the laundromat. Mom called the repairman because our TV is on the blink again.
2. Drunk. Do you remember last night at the bar at all? You were really on the blink!
See also: blink, on

on the fritz

Not working correctly; acting strangely; malfunctioning. Our washer is on the fritz, so I'm on my way to the laundromat. Mom called the repairman because our TV is on the fritz again.
See also: fritz, on

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

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

in the blink of an eye

If something happens or is done in the blink of an eye, it happens or is done very quickly. It was all over in the blink of an eye. Note: People sometimes use in the blinking of an eye with the same meaning. Almost in the blinking of an eye, everything we owned had gone for ever.
See also: blink, eye, of

on the blink

BRITISH, INFORMAL
If a piece of machinery is on the blink, it is not working properly. We had to have the washing done at the laundry because our machine was on the blink. Note: The usual American expression is on the fritz.
See also: blink, on

on the fritz

AMERICAN, OLD-FASHIONED
A piece of machinery that is on the fritz is not working properly. My mother's toaster went on the fritz. `They're setting up communications,' Rizzuto said. `But the goddamned mobile command post has gone on the fritz.' Note: The usual British expression is on the blink.
See also: fritz, on

in the blink of an eye

very quickly. informal
1995 Daily Mail It also has an unnerving way of flipping over from comedy to tragedy, or from tragedy to comedy, in the blink of an eye.
See also: blink, eye, of

on the blink

(of a machine) not working properly; out of order. informal
See also: blink, on

in the blink of an ˈeye

very quickly; in a short time: He was gone in the blink of an eye.
See also: blink, eye, of

on the ˈblink

(informal) (of a machine) not working properly: Can I watch the film at your house? Our TV’s on the blink again.
See also: blink, on

on the ˈfritz

(American English, informal) not working: The TV is on the fritz again.
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 ?
It is doubtful if he saw anything or anyone on this earth; it is substantially certain that he did not see a stunted, round-faced priest who, in the crowd below, looked up at him with blinking eyes.
At last he said, blinking as if in bodily distress: "Well, if that is so, sir, you need do no more than take the testamentary paper you spoke of and go.
Sometimes as he crouched there, blinking dreamily at the flames, it seemed that the flames were of another fire, and that as he crouched by this other fire he saw another and different man from the half-breed cook before him.
And dreaming there by the Yukon bank, with lazy eyes blinking at the fire, these sounds and sights of another world would make the hair to rise along his back and stand on end across his shoulders and up his neck, till he whimpered low and suppressedly, or growled softly, and the half-breed cook shouted at him, "Hey, you Buck, wake up
he said, and he caught me by the breast of the jacket, and looked this time straight into my eyes: his own were little and light, and bright like a bird's, blinking and winking strangely.
He sat awhile and shook, blinking in his plate: "He was all the brother that ever I had," he added, but with no heart in his voice; and then he caught up his spoon and fell to supper again, but still shaking.
He drained the glass suddenly and collapsed in his chair, blinking his eyes across at the wedded couple while tears trickled unheeded down his cheeks.
But as the official of the Embassy went on blinking at him steadily he felt constrained to add: "Allow me to observe that I have no means of action upon the police here.
Unless all these people with names are done away with," she finished, blinking and pursing up her lips.
She moved with him a few steps, blinking and nursing the cat with a small balancing movement of her arms.
So it turns out there's more--lots more--to blinking than meets the eye.
BLINKING our eyes is one of the body's most regular activities.
That means not blinking Most really good shooters also never blink (I'd call myself good, but not really good.
We all commonly find implicit breaks for blinking while viewing a video story," said Nakano.
Tear glands in the outside corners of your eyes are always making tears, and blinking wipes them away.