bat an eyelid(redirected from without batting an eyelid)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.
bat an eyelid
To display a subtle emotional reaction, such as consternation, annoyance, sadness, joy, etc. Generally used in the negative to denote that the person in question did not display even a hint of an emotional response. Mary didn't even bat an eyelid when I told her I was moving out. That guy is dangerous. I heard he killed a man without batting an eyelid.
not bat an eyelid
To not display even a hint of an emotional response, such as consternation, annoyance, sadness, joy, etc. Mary didn't even bat an eyelid when I told her I was moving out. That guy is dangerous. I heard he killed a man without batting an eyelid.
not bat an eyelidand not bat an eye
Fig. to show no signs of distress even when something bad happens or something shocking is said. Sam didn't bat an eyelid when the mechanic told him how much the car repairs would cost. The pain of the broken arm must have hurt Sally terribly, but she did not bat an eyelid.
not bat an eyelidor
not bat an eyelashmainly BRITISH
COMMON If someone does not bat an eyelid or does not bat an eyelash when something happens, they do not appear at all shocked or surprised by it. Even when told that a room in the hotel cost £235 per night, he didn't bat an eyelid. I thought Sarah would be embarrassed but she didn't bat an eyelid. This place could have burned to the ground, and he wouldn't have batted an eyelash. Note: You can also say that someone does something without batting an eyelid or without batting an eyelash. Mum would cater for a hundred people without batting an eyelid. Note: The usual American expression is not bat an eye.
not bat an eyelid (or eye)show no emotional or other reaction. informal
Bat in this sense is perhaps a dialect and US variant of the verb bate meaning ‘lower or let down’. The variant not blink an eye is also found.
1997 James Ryan Dismantling Mr Doyle She did not bat an eyelid when Eve spelled out the unorthodox details of the accommodation they required.