Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
1. Of a flame or light, to become suddenly extinguished. The flashlight sputtered and winked out, leaving us stuck in the cave with no source of light. I sat dreamily watching each candle wink out in the early hours of the morning.
2. To be abruptly killed, destroyed, or ruined. Typically used in passive constructions and often followed by "of existence." I was there on the ground, watching as innocent men, women, and children were winked out of existence by the enemy gunfire. Entire towns were simply winked out as drought and famine swept through the region.
To become quickly extinguished, especially following a weak burst of activity: The candle flickered and winked out. The street lamps winked out one by one.