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in the twinkling of an eye

Immediately; very quickly; at once. Just call us on this number if you have any problems, and we'll be back in the twinkling of an eye. Don't worry, boss, I'll have this report typed up in the twinkling of an eye!
See also: eye, of, twinkling

in a twinkling

At once; very quickly or suddenly or nearly immediately. Our storewide sale will only be available as supplies last, so be sure to hurry—these deals are going to be gone in a twinkling! When faced with the need to save costs, the management decided the fates of lower-level workers in a twinkling, without any serious deliberation.
See also: twinkling

in the twinkling of an eye

 and in the wink of an eye
Fig. very quickly. In the twinkling of an eye, the deer had disappeared into the forest. I gave Bill ten dollars and, in the twinkling of an eye, he spent it.
See also: eye, of, twinkling

in the twinkling of an eye

In an instant, as in The breakup of Yugoslavia created many warring nations in the twinkling of an eye. This hyperbolic expression, which alludes to the very brief time it takes for an eye to blink, is heard less often today. [c. 1300]
See also: eye, of, twinkling

in a twinkling (or the twinkling of an eye)

in an instant; very quickly.
A twinkling is the time taken to wink or blink an eye. The phrase can be traced back to 1 Corinthians 15:52: ‘In a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed’, and it has been in figurative sense since medieval times.
See also: twinkling

in the ˌtwinkling of an ˈeye

very quickly: Her mood can change in the twinkling of an eye.
See also: eye, of, twinkling
References in periodicals archive ?
the 200 Indoor Multicolour Lights; 200 Indoor Clear Lights, 100 Indoor Twinkling Multicolour Lights through to the
So they see bright, steady stars - with no twinkling.
Surrounded by numerous Other clouds, with no affinity, Floating speechless, seeing and Hearing sounds of other worlds Silent passers-by, the Stars, billions of miles of distance Twinkling toward Earth Yet beyond that twinkling light Other worlds in existence
A couple of months later, Copeland saw the same coordinated display twinkling in Congaree Swamp National Monument in South Carolina.
By shining laser light into the sample, they could monitor how the density fluctuations scattered light, making the sample look like a twinkling star.
In one test, the researchers directed four volunteers to watch a computer screen with a background of twinkling dots in different shades of gray.
Another kind of twinkling takes place in the ionosphere, the layer of charged particles at higher altitudes, where similar turbulence and other factors cause the number of electrons to fluctuate.