One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Make a sudden flinching movement out of fear or pain.‘he blenched and struggled to regain his composure’‘Lord Ralph blenched at the very idea of working from dawn until dusk’
flinch, start, shy, shy away, recoil, shrink, pull back, back away, draw back, cringe, wince, quiver, shudder, shiver, tremble, quake, shake, quail, cower, waver, falter, hesitate, get cold feet, blanchView synonyms
- ‘A headline in the current Spectator made me blench.’
- ‘He kept passing worse and worse laws to see if Jack Straw on the opposite bench would blench at each ever more extreme law and order measure.’
- ‘Martha Stewart would blench at the Beehive decor, and it's hard to imagine Helen Clark posing with fluffy Persian cats, but otherwise Martha and Helen could pretty much swap places.’
- ‘Many philosophers blenched at the idea even of educating, let alone empowering, the common people.’
- ‘But even Melville might have blenched at Browning's final exordium.’
- ‘She blenched and left hurriedly; I doubt that she will be back.’
- ‘That this debate would be directly relevant to Michelangelo's poetry, let alone to Petrarch's, is a stretch that might have made literary critics blench.’
- ‘Spinning around, she jabbed the hilt of her dagger into the stomach of the assassin, causing him to blench, his body going limp as he fell to the floor, unconscious.’
- ‘Purists and pedants alike regularly blench when they see the things even supposedly careful writers do with the apostrophe.’
Old English blencan ‘deceive’, of Germanic origin; later influenced by blink.
- variant spelling of blanch
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