wink out(redirected from winking out)
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.