blink n : a reflex that closes and opens the eyes rapidly [syn: eye blink, blinking, wink, winking, nictitation, nictation]
- Rhymes: -ɪŋk
- A quick closing and reopening of both eyes.
- The loser in the staring game is the person who blinks first.
- To flash headlights on
- An urban legend claims that gang members will attack anyone who blinks them.
- To send a signal with a lighting device.
- Don't come to the door until I blink twice.
- In the context of "hyperbole": To perform the smallest action
that could solicit a response.
- 1980, Billy Joel, “Don't Ask Me Why”, Glass Houses, Columbia
- All the waiters in your grand cafe / Leave their tables when you blink.
- 1980, Billy Joel, “Don't Ask Me Why”, Glass Houses, Columbia Records
a quick closing and reopening of both eyes
to peep quickly
- Japanese: チラ見する (chirami-suru)
- Swedish: kisa
to flash headlights
to send a signal with a lighting device
- Japanese: 点滅する (tenmetsu-suru)
- Swedish: blinka
hyperbole: to perform the smallest action
- The act of very quickly closing both eyes and opening them again.
- The time needed to close and reopen ones eyes.
a quick view
a view with eyes partly closed
The act of very quickly closing both eyes and opening them again
The time needed to close and reopen ones eyes
Translations to be checked
- ttbc Spanish: parpadeo
Nounblink g Norwegian
Blinking is the rapid closing and opening of the eyelid. It is an essential function of the eye that helps spread tears across and remove irritants from the surface of the cornea and conjunctiva. On average, a blink takes approximately 300 to 400 milliseconds. Blink speed can be affected by elements such as fatigue, eye injury, medication, and disease. A person approximately blinks once every two to ten seconds. The blinking rate is determined by the "blinking center", but it can also be affected by external stimulus. When an animal (usually human) chooses to blink only one eye as a signal to another in a social setting (a form of body language), it is known as winking. However, some animals (for example, tortoises and hamsters) blink their eyes independently of each other.
Function and anatomy of blinkingBlinking provides moisture to the eye by irrigation using tears and a lubricant the eyes secrete. The eyelid provides suction across the eye from the tear duct to the entire eyeball to keep it from drying out.
Blinking also protects the eye from irritants. Eyelashes are hairs attached to the upper and lower eyelids that create a line of defense against dust and other elements to the eye. The eyelashes catch most of these irritants before they reach the eyeball.
There are multiple muscles that control the reflex of blinking. The main muscles, in the upper eyelid, that control the opening and closing are the orbicularis oculi and levator palpebrae superioris muscle. The orbicularis oculi closes the eye, while the relaxation and contraction of the levator palpebrae muscle opens the eye. The Müller’s muscle, or the superior palpebral muscle, in the upper eyelid and the inferior palpebral muscle in the lower eyelid are responsible for widening the eyes. These muscles are not only imperative in blinking, but they are also important in many other functions such as squinting and winking.
Blinking in everyday life
ChildrenInfants do not blink at the same rate of adults; in fact infants only blink at an average rate of one or two times in a minute. The reason for this difference is unknown, but it is suggested that infants do not require the same amount of eye lubrication that adults do because their eyelid opening is smaller in relation to adults. Additionally, infants do not produce tears during their first month of life. Infants also get a significant amount more sleep than adults do, and, as discussed earlier, fatigued eyes blink more. However, throughout childhood the blink rate increases, and by adolescence, it is usually equivalent to adults.
AdultsWomen and men do not differ in their rates of spontaneous blinking, averaging around 10 blinks per minute in a laboratory setting. However, when the eyes are focused on object for an extended period of time, such as when reading, the rate of blinking decreases to about 3-4 times per minute. This is the major reason that eyes dry out and become fatigued when reading.
Eye blinking can be a criterion for diagnosing medical conditions. For example, excessive blinking may help to indicate the onset of Tourette syndrome, strokes or disorders of the nervous system. A reduced rate of blinking is associated with Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's patients have a distinct serpentine stare that is very recognizable.
blink in German: Blinzeln
blink in Persian: پلک زدن
blink in French: Nictation
blink in Dutch: Knipperen
blink in Japanese: まばたき
blink in Yiddish: בלינק
blink in Chinese: 眨眼
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