Definition of flick in English:



  • 1A sudden quick movement.

    ‘the flick of a switch’
    ‘a flick of the wrist’
    • ‘She rested the weight on her hip, as the young man smiled at her and with a quick flick of his head indicated for them to leave the crowded area.’
    • ‘With a quick flick of her arm, she turned Juliette around.’
    • ‘A quick flick of a highly versatile head of hair, a simple body movement or a flick of his greatcoat and each female individual is clearly drawn.’
    • ‘So, the resting state of a neuron is negative, and a change in state is signalled by short, sharp flicks towards 0.’
    • ‘I saw a flick of brown hair and a thin arm.’
    • ‘I turned on the ignition switch and gave the twist-grip throttle a quick flick.’
    • ‘The paperboy rode by on a bike, flinging his papers with a quick flick of his wrist and amazing accuracy.’
    • ‘A couple more flicks of the switch adjust the flame height and heat output.’
    • ‘Shimoyo's face hardened with determination, and with a single quick movement and flick of her wings, she rotated her body into a headfirst dive.’
    • ‘With a quick flick of her head, her hair re-arranged itself.’
    • ‘There's nothing subtler than a quick flick of the hair when you spot that hot honey from your French class.’
    • ‘In the flick of a switch, the spotlight is on the Christian Democrats.’
    • ‘A quick flick of his wrist turned a dial and started a timer.’
    • ‘Lexi balled up a napkin and bounced it off his forehead with a deft flick of her wrist.’
    • ‘The USA had gotten used to cheap power available at the flick of a switch.’
    • ‘The cop showed him the quarter in his left hand and then with a couple of quick flicks of the wrist, the quarter disappeared.’
    • ‘Her instinct told her what was inside, and with a quick flick of her hand, she grabbed the pouch and withdrew it into her cloak.’
    • ‘He caught it with a deft flick of the hand and then examined the ring.’
    • ‘The Sorceress Queen had entered and with a flick of her wand the bottle had disappeared.’
    • ‘He bent down next to the safe bolted to the floor and - with a few quick flicks of his wrist on the combination knob - he opened it.’
    jerk, snap, flip, stroke, brush, sweep, swipe, whisk, dab, jab, click, touch
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    1. 1.1 The sudden release of a bent finger or thumb, especially to propel a small object.
      ‘he sent his cigarette spinning away with a flick of his fingers’
      • ‘I am a force so terrifying that I can kill a ten thousand strong army with just a flick of my finger.’
      • ‘Hamma sat beside me staring intently forward and indicating the direction that we should take with a flick of his finger.’
      • ‘A flick of Neecer's finger sent the other Men of Truth to stand by the door, on guard.’
      • ‘With a deft flick of his fingers he tossed the bhaji onto the plate and as it bounced up high into the air, he struck it with perfect timing across the room with his knife.’
      • ‘He gives no mercy and can kill anyone with a flick of his finger.’
      • ‘Upon seeing the empty bag Jamie said ‘It's in your pocket’ but of course it wasn't and with a flick of a finger, the egg was back in the bag.’
      • ‘I saw his finger flick over the alphabetical headings until it reached C, and I knew in advance what I or he was going to choose.’
      • ‘With a smirk, she stretches out her arm and with the flick of a finger, blows the creature back 4 feet.’
      • ‘Easily deployed via a flick of the index finger, it's an elegant and satisfying solution to the problem of on-the-go spills.’
      • ‘Ah, just learning how to raise the dead and kill thousands of men at the flick of a finger.’
      • ‘Here, as you withdraw your arm from the finger flick you turn to the left to face the man on your left.’
      • ‘Tim continued to chat casually at the girl, who, with a flick of his fingers, had lost her voice.’
      • ‘With a flick of his fingers, Balen sends the orbits spinning.’
      • ‘With a thin smile, Asana hurled Darren backward with a flick of his finger, making the Barbarian fall heavily on the platform.’
      • ‘Sensing that he had built up enough power, Tony unleashed it all with a flick of his finger.’
      • ‘There were dozens of creatures; some were so imposing of size that they would kill most of the army with the mere flick of a finger.’
      • ‘She has little care for anything and a mere flick of her finger will make the strongest of warriors tremble, wither and die.’
      • ‘He picked an unlighted torch off the wall and with a simple flick of his finger, ignited it.’
      • ‘Another flick of her finger and Dustin felt his ear being pulled toward her.’
      • ‘With a flick of invisible fingers it sent a tiny, blood-red stone skittering across the table to Tamani.’
    2. 1.2 A light, sharp, quickly retracted blow, especially with a whip.
      • ‘Gombo gave Rodgers a light flick on the calves from his snakeskin lash.’
      • ‘He is still something of a baby and when I gave him one flick of the whip he picked up.’
      • ‘He gave the reins in his hand a light flick and the palomino horse beneath him trotted down the road toward the community that supported the castle.’
      • ‘There was the flick of a lighter, and I could smell burning incense.’
      • ‘A final flick brought the whip back, and the archer fell.’
      • ‘Alison jumped up and caught it then gave it a quick flick as she rolled over for a dive back down to the ground.’
      • ‘A flick of a lighter and the flame licked at a thin cigar.’
      • ‘The flick of a whip started the carriage rolling and bumping over the rough street.’
      • ‘Bethany reached over and grabbed her nightie that was laid on the bed and in one swift flick whipped Toby with it.’
      • ‘With a flick of his tail, he propelled himself out of the ball.’
      • ‘A few flicks of the brain whip might be enough to get the brown shirts back in line, but you never know.’
      • ‘If I happened to be slacking off, as was too often the case, I would feel the gentle query like the flick of a whip.’
      • ‘The man nodded, and when she turned, she heard the flick of the whip as the horse began to hurry away.’
      • ‘They warned off the crocodiles with no more than an irritated flick of their tail.’
      • ‘When he introduced Magico with a flick of the whip, the horse stood straight up on his hind legs and pawed the air, walking toward the spectators.’
      • ‘Her words were like the lightest flick of a knife to Lupe, counterweighted by the sensation her smile sent through him.’
      • ‘A single flick of his whip brought out their legs from beneath them and a stronger strike killed over seven of them without being attacked effectively once.’
    3. 1.3a flick through A quick look through (a book, magazine, etc.)
      ‘a quick flick through the family album’
      glance, look, browse, skim
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  • 2informal A cinema film.

    ‘a Hollywood action flick’
    • ‘Judge Mitchell Hattaway thinks this horror flick is the best film ever made.’
    • ‘The only new films on the coasts today are art house flicks.’
    • ‘I love horror movies and action flicks, though sometimes my soul and mind yearn for something more, something healthier.’
    • ‘I looked like the first person to die in one of those stupid teen slasher flicks.’
    • ‘After seeing it, I thought, am I equipped to review a kids' flick?’
    • ‘He also appeared in numerous Clint Eastwood flicks, including High Plains Drifter, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, and Every Which Way But Loose.’
    • ‘It is basically his homage to all the old school spaghetti westerns, samurai flicks and even Japanese animation films of the past, to which Tarantino is a huge fan.’
    • ‘In some ways this film is a whodunit as well as a horror flick.’
    • ‘They're industrial films, educational classroom flicks and promotional movies made to be seen briefly and then trashed.’
    • ‘With only a few different takes, this is still a classic film noir private eye flick.’
    • ‘Film songs from Bollywood flicks could be heard booming loudly out of buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws.’
    • ‘The society will screen alternative and classic films every fortnight at the Star Court Theatre including classic French, B grade horror, Hong Kong action and film noir flicks.’
    • ‘She made me watch some chick flick called Sweet Home Alabama.’
    • ‘On its own terms, it makes an okay B-grade horror flick.’
    • ‘I went through all the requisite phases - making gross-out gore films, gothic cemetery-based flicks and even dabbled in animation.’
    • ‘This is a hilarious send-up of corny Hollywood action flicks, cut like a movie trailer.’
    • ‘They are Judi Dench and Maggie Smith and they are debuting their new flick at your film festival.’
    • ‘Yep, Hollywood's done it again, but thankfully the resulting flick is a good film in its own right - a rarity amongst remakes.’
    • ‘I had gone to Nell's to see if she wanted to catch a flick.’
    • ‘The rest of the movie becomes a revenge flick, in which the established feel of the film is thrown away in favour of gun battles and bloodshed.’
    movie, picture, feature, feature film
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    1. 2.1the flicksBritish The cinema.
      ‘fancy a night at the flicks?’
      • ‘At the weekend, the kids were at a sleep over so I went to the flicks with the wife.’
      • ‘Stuart Fermor settles on the swings for a night at the flicks.’
      • ‘It could be popcorn and chocolates or something a bit stronger on your average night out at the flicks.’
      • ‘She catches up with her friends, she shops, she goes to the flicks, she misses her family (her mum phones three times during our chat).’
  • 3rare A group of hares or rabbits.


[with object]
  • 1Strike or propel (something) with a sudden quick movement of the fingers.

    ‘Max flicked his bow tie’
    ‘Ursula flicked some ash off her sleeve’
    • ‘Jessica was leaning on the table now, her chin resting in the palm of her hand as she flicked her index finger over her cheek.’
    • ‘She lifted the chunky Celtic cross which perpetually weighed her neck down and flicked it with a finger as if it was a musical triangle to show it was made of pure, die cast metal.’
    • ‘Players use their fingers to flick their players and the miniature ball simultaneously to move around the pitch.’
    • ‘Expecting the watch to fix itself, he flicked it with his finger, yet nothing happened.’
    • ‘Shaking fingers flicked ashes off the end of a cigarette that had yet to touch his lips.’
    • ‘She dipped her fingers in the glass flicking the liquid on Sally's face.’
    • ‘Chelsea plays with the tip of a spider plant, flicking it with her fingers.’
    • ‘Simon picked it up, and with a quick twitch flicked the little drop of sweat off and onto Tebert's itinerary.’
    • ‘Nader spun the immigration official a line about how the application was very urgent because I was a journalist in a hurry and we took our seats alongside a haggard Afghan flicking worry beads between his fingers.’
    • ‘Again Fiona rolled her eyes, so I flicked my index finger at her.’
    • ‘In my dream I flicked it about a bit with my finger and then curiosity got the better of me and I decided to look underneath the flap.’
    • ‘Jordan practically purred, her perfectly manicured finger flicking his nose.’
    • ‘When the nurse returned she gave the glass of water to Dominick who stuck his finger tips in and flicked a bit of water on to Kayla's face.’
    • ‘He flicked it against the striker, and, his fingers shaking as he held it up, it sputtered into flame.’
    • ‘He calls Thomas Levet ‘Frenchy’ and flicks lit cigarettes at him.’
    • ‘Do not flick your cigarette ash in someone's eye.’
    • ‘Rolling his eyes in disbelief, Jamie faced the sky and flicked a bit of ash down below.’
    • ‘The ball is bouncing harmlessly in the middle of the pitch when Best controls it and in one fluid movement flicks it from his left foot on to his right foot, then blasts a volley into the net.’
    • ‘A quick break down the left led to Warren Feeney flicking the ball into the path of his strike partner, who stroked home a glorious right-footed drive into the roof of the net from 25 yards.’
    • ‘He flicks her braids out of the way and runs a finger down the back of her neck.’
    click, snap, flip, jerk
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    1. 1.1 Make or cause to make a sudden quick movement.
      with object ‘the horse flicked its tail’
      no object ‘the tip of his tongue flicked out’
      • ‘Her eyes flicked to a shutter that moved under the wind's force.’
      • ‘He shook his small head in annoyance, his little bit of a mane moving slightly in the breeze, and his short, fluffy tail flicking at some flies.’
      • ‘Now they had grouped together against the steep slopes of a lava ridge, tails flicking, necks craning, heads turning.’
      • ‘Their ears were pointed and long, flicking back and forth as they moved.’
      • ‘Her mind flicked, her arms moved in a fluid motion, produced a hidden knife, and tossed without thinking.’
      • ‘For non-horse people this is a long, thin whip with a tassel on the end which is meant to be flicked at the horse just behind the leg.’
      • ‘While everyone's attention was on Kyli, Joy came up behind Cat and noticed her tail flicking back and forth.’
      • ‘Then she leapt, her tail flicking as she dove for the butterfly.’
      • ‘He held his hand out to help her up, Hikari took it, her clouded leopard tail flicking lightly to and fro in an agitated manner.’
      • ‘Caspian's eyes flicked towards him once, then moved away, like he wasn't even there.’
      • ‘With most people, I noticed as their eyes flicked upwards to my forehead, and then flicked away rapidly.’
      • ‘If the labyrinth is working normally, the eyes will flick rapidly from side to side.’
      • ‘When Tyger sees my tail, the first new appendage I have learned to move, flicking in the air, he raises his eyebrows.’
      • ‘His attention flicked to Alexandra, started to move away, and then was drawn back in surprise.’
      • ‘Chris gasped as he saw the back of the animal, for it was not that of a bird but of a lion, a long golden tail flicking warily behind it and massive paws growing closer every second.’
      • ‘He set off across the cavern, his tail flicking back and forth angrily.’
      • ‘She herself was currently small, furry wolf-like ears perched atop her head, a canine tail flicking behind her as she waded through the crowd of larger beasts.’
      • ‘It would be fine, except that her pony tail keeps flicking in my face, and there's nowhere else for me to move.’
      • ‘Woods needed to be in the middle of the ring, constantly on the move with his jab flicking out almost subconsciously.’
      • ‘And then, as if nothing had happened, the stone cat turned and ambled away, its shoulders rolling arrogantly, its tail still flicking.’
      swish, twitch, wave, wag, waggle, shake, whip, twirl, swing, brandish
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    2. 1.2 Turn (an electrical device) on or off.
      ‘he flicked on the air conditioning’
      ‘Urquart flicked the switch and she blinked in the harsh light’
      • ‘He was blinded momentarily as a desk lamp was flicked on and the curtains were closed.’
      • ‘Karinka slowly exited the room and flicked on the switch to her computers.’
      • ‘Absent-mindedly, I put the earphones in the appropriate orifice, and flicked on the switch.’
      • ‘Crossing his fingers, he flicked the switch back.’
      • ‘I flicked on a switch in my bracelet, which doubled as a recording device.’
      • ‘Her knees bent slightly so she could see herself in the mirror and her leg tripped a switch that flicked on the lights.’
      • ‘Once inside, the controls came online as he flicked on a few switches.’
      • ‘I went into the kitchen and flicked on the light switch, squinting as my eyes adjusted to the light.’
      • ‘Nathan and Michelle jerked apart suddenly when the bright light was flicked on.’
      • ‘He leapt at it, a lunge ending with a quick snap of his fingers, flicking the switch off.’
      • ‘Sky walked into the bathroom and flicked on the light switch.’
      • ‘A torch was flicked on and Tam winced in the light, screwing up his eyes.’
      • ‘He flicked on the switch, and sparks promptly flew through the air.’
      • ‘When I saw him leaning against the goalpost, I flicked on a switch and started the sprinklers.’
      • ‘Finally, my fingers flicked the knob and light flooded the room.’
      • ‘When the projector was flicked on, the result was sublime: the cone shot out as far as anyone could see, and its vanishing point was invisible.’
      • ‘She gritted her teeth, opened her eyes and was welcomed by a grinning new day as she flicked on the lamp switch to survey the damage.’
      • ‘They reached the attic floor and Rocky flicked on the switch that activated the ball return mechanism and the pin re-setter.’
      • ‘Car lights could be flicked on and off, but not kept on.’
      • ‘The wall was soundproof, unless the switch on the wall behind her was flicked on.’
    3. 1.3with object Move (an object) rapidly up and down so as to strike something or someone.
      ‘the driver flicked his whip and the cab moved off’
      move to and fro, move up and down, wag, waggle
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  • give someone the flick (or get the flick)

    • informal Reject someone (or be rejected) in a casual or offhand way.

      • ‘The PM of France (the leftie who got the flick at the last Presidential election) was to convene the meeting late in 1998.’
      • ‘It's just that if he constantly asks you out, and you've constantly turned him down, wouldn't he be inclined to give you the flick when you call - or worse, call the police?’
      • ‘Then, at the stroke of a pen, the company's value halves after Microsoft gives them the flick.’
      • ‘I spoke with Phil, who had seen me leaving for lunch with Lea back before she gave me the flick.’
      • ‘You have just decided to give me the flick for an interjection by referring to me by name.’
      • ‘And hands reached up to grab your ankles but you gave them the flick.’
      • ‘Just ponder a world without that song, without the Stock Aitken Waterman power years, and thank your lucky stars that Darius was given the flick when he was.’
      • ‘Still, he got what he deserved, he got the flick and he'll find it hard to get a job in science anywhere now.’
      • ‘Tam looks back at Liam, ‘I know what happened between us was all my fault and I know I'm probably getting the flick today - but I couldn't leave without telling you just how sorry I am.’’
      • ‘Still, at least I know how to ask how many Pesos a man has, then give him the flick off if he doesn't have enough to satisfy my tastes.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • flick through

    • Look quickly through a book, magazine, etc.

      ‘she was flicking through a copy of Vogue’
      • ‘I tried to ignore the mayhem and flicked through Chris's book.’
      • ‘‘It hardly has the romance of Romeo and Juliet, I know,’ says Michelle, laughing as she flicks through Brides magazine.’
      • ‘As D' Alancaisez flicks through his book of ideas I hope he may one day be inspired to use his undoubted skill to experiment in other genres of photography.’
      • ‘Over several cups of tea, Watson flicks through a lavish coffee-table book - The Vienna Album, which accompanied his recent exhibition in Austria.’
      • ‘I sit on the living-room carpet flicking through Bondini's books.’
      • ‘His quest began in 1979 when he was flicking through a book of British hit singles and realised he already had many of the tracks listed.’
      • ‘Probably just a researcher flicking through an occult book.’
      • ‘Do that, and we may start flicking through the address book on your mobile phone.’
      • ‘She was flicking through a magazine. ‘Look at that,’ she said, tapping the page with a well manicured finger.’
      • ‘I know because I flicked through the book once whilst in Borders in Brighton, so therefore I am an authority.’
      • ‘A flick through the reference manual quickly reveals that Hewlett's remarks have solid foundations.’
      • ‘And House of Leaves is a massively fun book to flick through, no question.’
      • ‘Such an age is usually just beyond recall, except by those flicking through the Bumper Book Of Rosy Old Clichés.’
      • ‘After Lee flicked through magazines to find a style she liked, Aline conferred with tutor Jayne Laverick to make sure she knew how to tackle the cut.’
      • ‘They're happy in their Studio City home in LA, and have already started flicking through baby name books.’
      • ‘When a book is released I flick through a few magazines and if I find something, buy the magazine, cut out the review, and add it to my scrap books.’
      • ‘It's a measure of the current embattled men's magazine market that flicking through a pile of them in a public bar feels dirty and faintly illegal.’
      • ‘Historians flicking through the record books will conclude, accurately as it turns out, that he mustn't have been playing.’
      • ‘I didn't buy it, though I did flick through a few pages.’
      • ‘The guy on the end of the phone line is flicking through the club history book, looking for nuggets of information with which to woo.’
      thumb, thumb through, leaf through, flip through, run through, skim through, scan, look through, riffle through, browse through, dip into, glance at, glance through, peruse, read quickly, have a quick look at, run one's eye over, give something a once-over, give something the once-over
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Late Middle English: symbolic, fl- frequently beginning words denoting sudden movement.