Last modified on 16 December 2014, at 06:43

flicker

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EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English flikeren (to flutter), from Old English flicerian, flicorian (to flutter). Akin to Dutch flikkeren (to flutter).

NounEdit

flicker (plural flickers)

  1. An unsteady flash of light.
  2. A short moment.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 8, The China Governess[1]:
      It was a casual sneer, obviously one of a long line. There was hatred behind it, but of a quiet, chronic type, nothing new or unduly virulent, and he was taken aback by the flicker of amazed incredulity that passed over the younger man's ravaged face.
TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

flicker (third-person singular simple present flickers, present participle flickering, simple past and past participle flickered)

  1. (intransitive) To burn or shine unsteadily. To burn or shine with a wavering light.
    • Tennyson
      The shadows flicker to and fro.
    • 1907, Robert Chambers, chapter 3, The Younger Set[2]:
      Long after his cigar burnt bitter, he sat with eyes fixed on the blaze. When the flames at last began to flicker and subside, his lids fluttered, then drooped ; … .
  2. (intransitive) To keep going on and off; to appear and disappear for short moments; to flutter.
    • 1898, J. Meade Falkner, Moonfleet Chapter 3
      There I lay on one side with a thin and rotten plank between the dead man and me, dazed with the blow to my head, and breathing hard; while the glow of torches as they came down the passage reddened and flickered on the roof above.
    • 1908, Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
      The ruddy brick floor smiled up at the smoky ceiling; the oaken settles, shiny with long wear, exchanged cheerful glances with each other; plates on the dresser grinned at pots on the shelf, and the merry firelight flickered and played over everything without distinction.
  3. To flutter; to flap the wings without flying.
    • Dryden
      And flickering on her nest made short essays to sing.
TranslationsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

1808, American English, probably echoic of the bird's call, or from the white spotted plumage which appears to flicker.

NounEdit

flicker (plural flickers)

A Northern flicker
  1. (US) A certain type of small woodpecker, especially of the genus Colaptes
TranslationsEdit
See alsoEdit

Etymology 3Edit

flick +‎ -er

NounEdit

flicker (plural flickers)

  1. One who flicks.
Derived termsEdit