Open main menu


A radar display with blips (sense 1) representing naval vessels of Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 and Group 2 engaging in Exercise Trident Juncture on 29 October 2015





blip (plural blips)

  1. (electronics) A small dot registered on electronic equipment, such as a radar or oscilloscope screen.
  2. A short sound of a single pitch, usually electronically generated.
    • 2000, Ken Norton; Marshall Terrill; Mike Fitzgerald, “Prologue”, in Going the Distance, Champaign, Ill.: Sports Publishing, →ISBN, page 2:
      Blip..Blip..Blip..Blip / There was that annoying noise again. Anger entered my subconscious as the dream came to an abrupt end.
    • 2007, Richard Strozzi-Heckler, In Search of the Warrior Spirit: Teaching Awareness Disciplines to the Green Berets, 4th edition, Berkeley, Calif.: Blue Snake Books, →ISBN, page 39:
      The most popular event is Joel's computer-based biofeedback game. [] The goal is to move the balloons skyward while avoiding the rockets that the computer shoots toward the balloons. You dodge the rockets by consciously adjusting your muscle tone between relaxation and tension. [] The little "blip" sound that happens when a balloon is shot down becomes a duet with the player. "Blip" "Damn!" "Blip" "Damn!" "Blip" "Damn!"
  3. (by extension) A brief and usually minor aberration or deviation from what is expected or normal.
    • 2003, Brett Grodeck, The First Year—HIV: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed (First Year Series), New York, N.Y.: Marlowe, →ISBN:
      There's a chance this is just a viral blip, an intermittent spike of low-level virus that just happens in people on successful HIV treatment.
    • 2003, Dany Spencer Adams, Lab Math: A Handbook of Measurements, Calculations, and Other Quantitative Skills for Use at the Bench, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, →ISBN:
      As a cell moves through the aperture it causes a blip (a brief change) in the voltage when the nonconductive cell briefly displaces the conductive medium.
    • 2010 February 28, Gary Younge, “The Tea Party is a dynamic force, but it is still unruly and incoherent”, in The Guardian[1], London, archived from the original on 16 March 2016:
      Barack Obama had become exasperated by the propensity of the party establishment to panic at every psephological blip.



blip (third-person singular simple present blips, present participle blipping, simple past and past participle blipped)

  1. (transitive) As blip out: to skip over or ignore.
    • 1990, Defining the Frontier: A Policy Challenge: Hearing before the Special Committee on Aging, United States Senate, One Hundred First Congress, Second Session, Casper, Wyoming, July 23, 1990 (serial no. 101-25), volume 4, Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, OCLC 22921652, page 25:
      If we look, for example, at Laramie County, with a population density of 26.8 per square mile, if you blipped out Cheyenne, Laramie County would change significantly.
    • 1995, John Dunning, The Bookman's Wake: A Mystery with Cliff Janeway, New York, N.Y.: Scribner, →ISBN:
      He listened but his mind heard only words and blipped out meanings.
  2. (intransitive) To change state abruptly, such as between off and on or dark and light, sometimes implying motion.
    • 2001, Dennis Lehane, Mystic River, New York, N.Y.: William Morrow and Company, →ISBN:
      And yet, they pulsed and glowed and shimmied and flared and stared at you, just like now—staring in at his and Whitey's own lights as they blipped past on the expressway, just one more set of red and yellow lights streaking along amid a current of red and yellow lights that blipped, blipped, blipped through an unremarkable Sunday dusk.
    • 2005, Craig Lansford; Stephen Chamberlin, “Scene III”, in Broken Angel (Tales from Salome; 1; The Sorian Chronicles; book I), rev. edition, Lincoln, Neb.: iUniverse, →ISBN:
      The screen blipped out as the connection was terminated. [] A few seconds passed before the screen again blipped to life, but instead of Melissa's radiant face there was a man in obvious security garb staring at him.