Definition of blank in English:



  • 1(of a surface or background) unrelieved by decorative or other features; bare, empty, or plain.

    ‘the blank skyline’
    ‘a blank wall’
    • ‘He thought as he was staring at the shockingly blank white walls.’
    • ‘I have turned away from him and am concentrating on the very blank, very white wall in front of me.’
    • ‘I found another microwave that had a completely blank front, with the buttons hidden inside the door.’
    • ‘Police fear the vandals will view clean walls as a blank canvas.’
    • ‘This is the equivalent of a cultural vacuum, a blank canvas, an empty stage.’
    • ‘On one side there was the blank wall of the back of a shopping centre.’
    • ‘It features blank walls and a recliner placed in the middle of the room.’
    • ‘In both photographs the inanimate face is shown in three-quarter profile facing right against a blank background.’
    • ‘I got myself some food and drinks and sat on the couch-bed staring at a blank plasma flat screen TV.’
    • ‘He was an empty vessel, a blank template waiting to be completed.’
    • ‘It's a surprising journey to get from this blank surface to the finished thing, and it isn't a straight line.’
    • ‘I wanted to do something interesting with the top of the case, which is currently just a blank surface.’
    • ‘Do you sometimes spend hours staring at a blank wall?’
    • ‘He would roam the streets looking for nice blank surfaces to paint the letter of the day on.’
    • ‘His essay offers an intriguing interpretation of a Tudor portrait featuring five enigmatically blank panels.’
    • ‘See your own aura by standing about three feet in front of a mirror with a blank wall behind you.’
    • ‘The photograph facing the title page says it all - it simply shows a wall, blank but for an empty picture hook.’
    • ‘The blank background beautifully reflects the tonal differences, conjuring up the stark light of the Mediterranean and the murky tones of America.’
    • ‘The room seem pretty bare, blank walls, holding that nasty lonely chill inside.’
    • ‘Only one structure blotted the blank landscape.’
    empty, unfilled, unmarked, unwritten on, unused, clear, free, bare, clean, plain, spotless, white
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Not written or printed on.
      ‘a blank sheet of paper’
      • ‘I wrote my name on a blank sheet of notebook paper, and tried to push it into the shredder, but I couldn't quite line the paper up with the feed.’
      • ‘Sighing, I took out a blank sheet of scrap paper and started brainstorming.’
      • ‘On it he put a sheet of blank paper and a packet of crayons before he pulled over a chair.’
      • ‘I start with a blank sheet of paper and I just write a sentence.’
      • ‘The four-page statement was printed on blank paper.’
      • ‘His boss set him to cutting and pasting blank sheets of profile paper into strips of varying dimensions for later use in the field.’
      • ‘Seira pulled out a pencil and some sheets of blank manuscript paper.’
      • ‘The agent flipped the paper over only to find that it was a blank sheet of paper.’
      • ‘Teddy grabbed the crayons and a sheet of blank paper and began to write and colour.’
      • ‘One national daily yesterday featured a blank front page, explaining below that it had been reserved for a victory picture that never came.’
      • ‘He wrote his first outlines in longhand on large blank sheets of paper.’
      • ‘First thing I did was to sit down with a blank sheet of paper and write up a ‘wish list’ of all the things I'd like to have in the campaign.’
      • ‘She set the pencil to a blank sheet of paper and began to draw.’
      • ‘We had to run out and buy a blank book for her to record daydreams and nightdreams, and she's been at it for a week now.’
      • ‘The professor said he found an empty notebook, with blank pages which the poet had never found time to write on.’
      • ‘Staring confused at the blank envelope I moved to my kitchen counter.’
      • ‘The police brought him in, gave him a blank sheet to write down what he did the day before, and then released him.’
      • ‘When his first son, William, was born, Darwin took an old notebook and began to record his development in its blank pages.’
      • ‘Slip a sheet of blank paper or an entire magazine into the baggie.’
      • ‘He went into his room and pulled out a blank sheet of paper and pen and he began to write a reply letter.’
      empty, unfilled, unmarked, unwritten on, unused, clear, free, bare, clean, plain, spotless, white
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2(of a document) with spaces left for a signature or details.
      ‘blank tax-return forms’
      • ‘They have no names, their birth certificates are blank.’
      • ‘She questioned the authenticity of the contracts the two fighters signed, saying that one alleged he was forced to sign a blank contract.’
      • ‘I had him just sign a blank loan document and that's all it took to drag him in.’
      • ‘Instead, he turned and replaced the invoice with his blank warrant, quickly copying over the address.’
      • ‘How trusted are the people who handle the blank documents, or the databases those documents are tied into?’
      • ‘Many travel documents in the existing Interpol database are blank passports stolen from consulates around the world.’
      • ‘When the scoresheet is blank and the incident at a premium, the search is for statistics.’
      • ‘They also found blank visa forms for several countries.’
      • ‘She had gotten back to the blank document she had started earlier.’
      • ‘First, it will be recalled that errors made by customers when completing blank bank giro credit forms led to unacceptable delays in payments being made.’
      • ‘Student participation was voluntary - students who did not participate were advised to return a blank questionnaire.’
      • ‘He pulled out the drawer of his desk and got out a blank American passport.’
      • ‘This word processor starts up in about three seconds on a decent system and takes about 5MB of memory for a blank document.’
      • ‘The speaker's statement indicated that there was evidence that some members provided signed blank warrants to the travel agents.’
      • ‘Since last year, more than 15,000 blank passports have been stolen in France.’
      • ‘Young men were beaten and tortured while in police custody, then forced to sign blank depositions.’
      • ‘At first she assumed he was coding data, but finally caught him completing blank questionnaires.’
      • ‘Since 1990, there have been over 19,050 blank passports that have been stolen from Belgium.’
      • ‘Another employee had a spreadsheet she was certain was corrupted because it came up completely blank when opened.’
      • ‘If participants did not experience anything unusual, they were instructed to simply return the blank questionnaire.’
    3. 1.3(of a tape) with nothing recorded on it.
      ‘blank cassettes’
      • ‘He caught up with me later in the afternoon and pressed a blank tape into my hand and bashfully asked if I could make him a copy of it.’
      • ‘That was when we discovered that the video code hadn't worked and the tape was blank.’
      • ‘Each student will get a blank tape and video recorder.’
      • ‘Applying a levy on blank tapes, MiniDiscs, CD-Rs and the like, and to the hardware that writes data to them, will be resisted.’
      • ‘Before I went out of the car, I made sure that the recorder had a blank tape inside or else my project would be in jeopardy.’
      • ‘Like CDR, blank DVD-R discs are recorded in a DVD-R drive that is controlled by a host computer.’
      • ‘It records on more types of blank disks than the others, but its built-in TV tuner is mono, not stereo.’
      • ‘To do this you will need a microphone, a tape recorder or CD recorder, and blank tapes or CD's.’
      • ‘In kindergarten, each student brings a blank videotape to school which is then used in succeeding years to record the interviews.’
      • ‘No more scrambling to find a blank tape when you unexpectedly come across an interesting programme that's just starting - simply hit record.’
      • ‘By the early 1970s, we were voraciously recording music onto blank cassettes: LPs, concerts, tunes from the radio.’
      • ‘My colleague rewinds the tape to find it is blank; the recorder failed.’
      • ‘There was also a blank tape, just in case you felt like making use of the hotel's video recording service.’
      • ‘Contestants are asked to bring along a blank tape on the night of registration so that a copy can be made of the song chosen.’
      • ‘It turned out that the tape was blank and had not been used to record the conversation.’
      • ‘The recordings are available and there are several minutes of blank tape at the end of each side.’
      • ‘Ensure you have a digital video camera with a fully charged battery and plenty of blank tapes.’
      • ‘I missed a bunch of it - I had to take a phone call, and couldn't find a blank tape for the VCR.’
      • ‘When they took the stage a few hours later, they were armed with a tape recorder and a stack of blank cassettes.’
      • ‘I record my favourite songs onto blank tapes to play in the car and I normally do them by mood or genre.’
  • 2Showing incomprehension or no reaction.

    ‘we were met by blank looks’
    • ‘Some stared back, a blank, empty stare that chilled to the bone.’
    • ‘He looks momentarily confused, his face going blank until it hardens.’
    • ‘When she arranged a time for me to go into the radio station and record the interview I expected to be greeted with blank looks.’
    • ‘She decided to go straight to the point when she noticed my blank and confused expression.’
    • ‘Now at that point, faces just sort of go blank, people are dumbfounded.’
    • ‘The image of her empty eyes and blank face was burnt into his memory.’
    • ‘She watched the pair intently, impeccable mastery of her emotions leaving her features completely blank.’
    • ‘His face is blank but his eyes are full of hatred, confusion and fear.’
    • ‘I was met with a stiff child, no answering or responsive hug, no acknowledgement and a blank stare into space.’
    • ‘I tried my best to give them a blank look and express confusion at the stated declaration, but it was hopeless.’
    • ‘The actual reactions run the gamut from blank stares to gently-furrowed brows.’
    • ‘She just stared at the floor with a blank look on her face as the president spoke up.’
    • ‘She spoke softly, her features carefully blank.’
    • ‘He waited to see her reaction, but only got a blank stare in return, so he continued his explanation.’
    • ‘Her first reaction was a blank look at the receptionist.’
    • ‘For a second his dad just stood there with no expression at all, his eyes were blank and empty.’
    • ‘All I could offer him was a blank stare, emerald eyes clouded with confusion and apprehension.’
    • ‘Her face was blank; its lack of expression scared him.’
    • ‘He looked dazed and confused with a blank stare on his face.’
    • ‘He arranged his terror-struck features into a blank mask.’
    expressionless, empty, vacant, deadpan, wooden, stony, impassive, inanimate, poker-faced, vacuous, glazed, fixed, lifeless, uninterested, emotionless, unresponsive, inscrutable
    baffled, nonplussed, mystified, stumped, at a loss, stuck, puzzled, perplexed, bewildered, bemused, ignorant, lost, muddled, uncomprehending, befuddled, fuddled, addled, at sixes and sevens, confused
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Having temporarily no knowledge or understanding.
      ‘her mind went blank’
      • ‘My mind went completely blank as the words ran through my head.’
      • ‘My brain remained stubbornly blank and I was forced to stalk back into the house without getting in a final shot.’
      • ‘When the kids came along, my mind went completely blank.’
      • ‘I really should be able to think of loads more bad film titles, but I've gone completely blank.’
      • ‘John, though his memory was blank, seemed to understand the world around him well enough.’
      • ‘If you ask someone in attendance to recount these scenes you're likely to get a blank response and a claim of a lack of memory.’
      • ‘She sighed, enjoying the absolutely blank state of her mind at the moment.’
      • ‘While, it's neither advisable nor possible to stop thinking, try practicing keeping the mind blank or empty, even for some fleeting seconds.’
      • ‘I'll sit there, trying so hard to think of something to say but it isn't even a matter of willing myself to say it, my mind is blank.’
      • ‘Slight anger stirred inside my temporarily blank mind, what about me?’
      • ‘He went completely blank as he saw the beauty that entered his office.’
      • ‘About 5 minutes after they leave for their conference, the food will arrive. The waiter looks at you questioningly, and your mind goes blank.’
      • ‘He looks me directly in the eye, and I want to say something but my mind is absolutely blank.’
      • ‘This caught her off guard, then her mind went temporarily blank.’
      • ‘Sit in the lotus position on the floor and let your mind go blank. repeat these words.’
      • ‘Now with a blank mind she has nothing left to type.’
    2. 2.2Lacking incident or result.
      ‘those blank moments aboard airplanes’
      • ‘Nobody had their putting stroke in the best mode, resulting in another blank day for the twos pool and another pot to carry forward to next week's outing.’
  • 3[attributive] Complete; absolute (used emphatically with negative force)

    ‘he was met with a blank refusal to discuss the issue’
    • ‘Those advisers who urged on him an expression of contrition as a way of finding closure met with a blank refusal.’
    • ‘On the unionist side, there was a blank refusal to consider power sharing.’
    • ‘You give hugely to the town and the country but when you look for a little back for yourself, you get a blank refusal.’
    • ‘But he was isolated, and something more than a blank refusal was required.’
    • ‘This movie aims to evoke the same mystery, but settles for a sense of blank perplexity.’
    • ‘I'm pleased to see that I'm not the only one frustrated with his blank lack of understanding.’
    • ‘I don't believe that could happen today, one of my students sighed in blank refusal of this simple chain of reasoning.’
    • ‘What's interesting about the posts on the website is this blank refusal to accept the true nature of freedom of speech.’
    outright, absolute, categorical, unqualified, utter, complete, thorough, flat, straight, positive, certain, explicit, unequivocal, unambiguous, unmistakable, plain, clear, clear-cut
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  • 1A space left to be filled in a document.

    ‘leave blanks to type in the appropriate names’
    ‘this measure required subjects to fill in the blanks in a story’
    • ‘The list of employees now has a number of blanks in the salary column.’
    • ‘The teacher must have been quite surprised at the way he filled in the blanks in the questions at the end of each lesson.’
    • ‘He left blanks for inserting names and levels of government to create an instant press release of sorts.’
    • ‘I'd been accumulating information and photographs, but when it came time to write it I knew I'd have to uncover more to fill in the blanks.’
    • ‘I knew all the key terms and I knew what to put in the blanks, but I just couldn't think straight enough to write anything.’
    • ‘The concept is simple enough: take a 9x9 square and fill in the blanks so each number from one to nine appears in each row, column and 3x3 section only once.’
    • ‘Someone from marketing, sales, or [fill in the blank with a department] will always throw a wrench into the project.’
    • ‘She picked up a new gold nib black ink pen and started filling in blanks in the contract.’
    • ‘It had colloquial English phrases and you had to fill in the blanks.’
    • ‘Question 1 was a database question, with several blanks, and two queries to be filled in.’
    • ‘I want to fill in the blanks, dot the i's and cross the t's.’
    • ‘Their birth certificates contained blanks in the section identifying their fathers.’
    • ‘More accurate and logical profiling requires restraint: leave the usual labels and formulas in template until you have enough facts to thoroughly fill in the blanks.’
    • ‘The analysis presented here shows that filling in some blanks in the current matrix will not overturn the optimal hypothesis it supports.’
    • ‘The UN has now called in the ‘motherland’ countries, to try to fill in the blanks on the draft plan.’
    • ‘Well if you had a form I suppose I could fill in the blanks and get the boss to sign it.’
    • ‘If you're only looking for certain vocabulary words in certain places, why not just offer an essay template where students fill in the blanks?’
    • ‘He trekked thousands of miles along the northern coast of North America to fill in the blanks on regional maps.’
    • ‘Early map-makers were happy to leave blanks for terra incognita or to stock those empty spaces with headless cannibals, giant monopeds, Amazons and dragons.’
    • ‘This is your chance to fill in the blanks on a missive already written, then simply post it off to the public figure in question.’
    space, gap, blank space, empty space
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    1. 1.1A document with blank spaces to be filled.
      • ‘In addition to controlled storage, prescription blanks are serialized, and the dispersal of all prescription pads and storage destination is documented by pharmacy staff.’
      • ‘In this country, town governments issue passports, so thieves frequently break into the town hall and steal blanks.’
      • ‘We answered all the questions and filled out the blanks in full.’
      • ‘Prescription blanks must not be stored in patient examination rooms.’
      • ‘With a pad of blanks and the punch, I could mark my own transfers and travel anywhere that L.A. buses went.’
    2. 1.2A domino with one or both halves blank.
  • 2A cartridge containing gunpowder but no bullet, used for training or as a signal.

    • ‘In each of the shops, there are display cases full of replica weapons capable of firing plastic or metal ballbearings or blanks.’
    • ‘By day five, soldiers receive weapon's safety instructions, carry a magazine of blanks and continually conduct weapons safety procedures.’
    • ‘No one on the firing squad knows whether their gun has a bullet or a blank.’
    • ‘So perhaps it was a real gun and a real head, but does a blank constitute a real bullet?’
    • ‘The bullets were blanks in our desert, but the situations and attitudes of the soldiers we reported on were as real as they come.’
    • ‘This stage furnishes the ammunition for two .45 Colt sixguns, .45 caliber blanks with enough blast to pop balloons but not send bullets around haphazardly.’
    • ‘It was something I should have noticed, blanks looked different than the real ammo we work with.’
    • ‘She said 1,797 rounds of assorted ammunition, including blanks, and 13 other weapons, including knives, had also been handed in.’
    • ‘Rubber blanks exploded through the bush I was crouching behind, but none hit me.’
    • ‘When I learned to shoot a gun, I never practiced with real bullets, or even blanks.’
    • ‘‘The darn gun was loaded with blanks,’ she said.’
    • ‘The guns fire blanks but can be adapted to shoot real bullets.’
    • ‘Unbeknownst to our finalist, four of these bullets are blanks.’
    • ‘In addition, officers collected nine guns designed to fire blanks, but capable of being converted to fire live ammunition.’
    • ‘Bullets, he didn't know whether they were blanks or not, whizzed past him, inches from his face.’
    • ‘It was the first time I'd fired a weapon, I felt a little nervous even though the bullets were only blanks.’
    • ‘He had not been wounded, let alone shot, because the attacker's pistol was loaded with blanks.’
    • ‘Taking aim again, I pulled the trigger and the blank hit the guard in the chest.’
    • ‘She let the cartridges of blanks drop to the ground and reloaded with live fire.’
    • ‘Only blanks were used for the Royal war games when she visited the armed forces at Portsmouth.’
  • 3An empty space or period of time, especially in terms of a lack of knowledge or understanding.

    ‘my mind was a total blank’
    • ‘Our knowledge of the singer's childhood and youth is practically a total blank.’
    • ‘Today is one of those ‘blogless’ days where my mind is a blank so this will be short!’
    • ‘It tells the story of a woman suffering from psychogenic amnesia who wakes up daily with her mind a total blank.’
    • ‘Even though I recognised people, my mind was a total blank.’
    • ‘He said all the drinks at the event had been free and believes their beers may have been spiked because of his total blank about the evening.’
    • ‘I was so nervous I put my slides upside down on the projector, dropped my folder and had a complete mind blank half way through.’
    • ‘At this point, brain, spirit and soul were all on overload and a total blank arrived.’
    • ‘So while Shakespeare's life is not a total blank, it does contain a lot of empty spaces.’
    • ‘She was looking at him with big, round, hopeful eyes, her lips quivering, and his mind was a total blank.’
    • ‘I've a good memory, a very good memory, but my mind is a total blank.’
    • ‘I quickly racked my brain for the answer, only to turn up with nothing but a blank.’
    • ‘Her mind was a total blank and she kept staring at the wall in front of her.’
    • ‘The stunning reality of the battle pushed Alex's mind into total blank.’
    • ‘It's just a total blank, as though everyone had forgotten about that bit of the world.’
    void, vacuum, emptiness, vacancy
    View synonyms
  • 4A roughly cut metal or wooden block intended for further shaping or finishing.

    • ‘People couldn't believe how easy it was pick many simple locks using little more than a key blank and a screw driver.’
    • ‘They do not have grip safeties, so a blank must be welded onto the frame and then finished by hand.’
    • ‘The technique traditionally has involved filing a key blank into a set of teeth that rest against each of the pins in a pin and tumbler lock.’
    • ‘Worthing shaped the blank into a traditional British style and finished the wood with a hand-rubbed oil finish.’
    • ‘Wheel blanks vary in width from 7.5 in. to 12 in. and in length from 26 in. to 40 in.’
    • ‘Multidirectional core reduction techniques produced a wide variety of larger reduction flakes that formed blanks for small tools.’
    • ‘The hydroforming process forms a heated metal blank into a desired shape by means of hydraulic pressure.’
    1. 4.1A plain metal disk from which a coin is made by stamping a design on it.
      • ‘The Central Bank expects to sell them to the manufacturers of coin blanks in Europe.’
      • ‘You put the die on a coin blank and hit it with a big hammer to mould the impression into the metal.’
      • ‘The country's largest stainless steel making outfit, has bagged an order to supply coin blanks to the French national mint.’
  • 5A dash written instead of a word or letter, especially instead of an obscenity or profanity.

    • ‘The way we would test them is we would sing it a few times and then leave something out - Astrolabe, Quadrant and blank blank blank will find a new blank to the East.’
    • ‘But, more importantly, you'll find a blank for words that should not appear.’
    1. 5.1Used euphemistically in place of a noun regarded as obscene, profane, or abusive.


  • 1Cover up, obscure, or cause to appear blank or empty.

    ‘electronic countermeasures blanked out the radar signals’
    • ‘I can't remember what it was, I've blanked it out.’
    • ‘I blanked out my mind for a bit just thinking and sorting things out in my head.’
    • ‘Shouting was a waste of time, so to blank it out I used to stick on the headphones.’
    • ‘Whether I've just blanked it out in my head, I just don't remember making that decision.’
    • ‘Your address is blanked out, but your name must be included on the roll, otherwise we are unable to confirm your identity when you vote.’
    • ‘Before he died, fellow captives heard the prisoner, whose name is blanked out in the document, ‘screaming and asking for assistance’.’
    • ‘The next three pages of that all-important document are completely blanked out.’
    • ‘Swear words were blanked out, but much more offensive racist remarks were left in.’
    • ‘The eyes of the 22 alleged thieves were blanked out.’
    • ‘The story tells of the sun being completely blanked out and stars being seen.’
    • ‘When the documents were delivered, apart from a few names and addresses and incidental matters, they were completely blanked out.’
    • ‘That excuse was suddenly blanked out by the image before him.’
    • ‘In a clear breach of Netiquette, it spammed all twenty with the same reply and failed to blank the identity of the recipients.’
    • ‘The people are blanked out to allow you to receive the full horrific impact of their trashy homes.’
    • ‘Every sentence, even every heading is blanked out and will remain classified, insofar as those two agencies are concerned.’
    • ‘The next day the picture of the lorry was in a number of newspapers, and, although they blanked the register and name out, they still publicised the company.’
    • ‘‘He deals with bad news by blanking it out,’ she answers for him.’
    • ‘A lot of the text in the documents is blanked out, including, intriguingly, the distribution list!’
    • ‘He blanked his mind of everything and stopped thinking.’
    • ‘You may notice that I've blanked out the price.’
    1. 1.1[no object]Become blank or empty.
      ‘the picture blanked out’
      • ‘He rose from his little nap in the middle of the street, then realized where he was, and what had happened before he blanked out.’
      • ‘I blanked out completely, too tired to think of a lie.’
      • ‘After performing the cigar sequence, something landed on my head and I blanked out.’
      • ‘Ray's image blanked out and he held his hand out to me on last time.’
      • ‘He completely blanked out, lost in thought again.’
      • ‘Her mind had momentarily blanked out when she realized the mistake she had made.’
      • ‘As soon as he hit the ground, everything blanked out.’
      • ‘In a ‘zone,’ she blanked out on us and didn't say another single thing the whole time.’
      • ‘Jesse had suddenly blanked out and it scared her.’
      • ‘Minae bowed her head, her mind blanking at his cold tone.’
      • ‘My mind blanked out and I was no longer aware of my surroundings, falling into another dream.’
      • ‘I think I froze and blanked out for a second, because the next thing I knew he had walked up to me, taken my hand in his, and was kissing it.’
      • ‘Jennifer blanked out soon after her body took to running outside the building.’
      • ‘Her mind began blanking, lulled by the soft weight of his hand stroking her cheek.’
      • ‘I closed my eyes for a second, and as I tried to breath, my mind blanked out and my hands began to shake.’
      • ‘He had written it on his calendar, in his planner and left a reminder on his cell phone and his mind still completely blanked out at remembering that piece of news.’
      • ‘Her mind blanked out and she felt lost as if in a dream.’
      • ‘Wait, I must have blanked out while I was typing it.’
      • ‘Even though he had the uneasy feeling that she was disappointed in him, he felt bereft when her image, too, blanked out.’
      • ‘A second before I blanked out, cold water connected with my forehead.’
    2. 1.2Cut (a metal blank)
      ‘the complete core disk can be blanked out in one piece’
  • 2North American informal Defeat (a sports opponent) without allowing the opposition to score.

    ‘Baltimore blanked Toronto in a 7–0 victory’
    • ‘Also in Division Two, FC Japan blanked Roosevelt Island International 4 -.’
    • ‘The Midget Raiders blanked the Eagles 43- last Saturday in Steinbach.’
    • ‘By blanking Chicago, it was the fourth consecutive shutout, a feat that had been accomplished in the American League by only the 1903 Indians and the 1932 Yankees.’
    • ‘A tenacious Minnesota defense helped send the Flyers to their eighth shutout loss of the season, the most since they were blanked eight times in 1969 / 1970.’
    • ‘Landmark won games three and four in a row last Thursday as they blanked the Eagles 5- and edged Mitchell 8-7.’


  • be firing (or shooting) blanks

    • informal (of a man) be infertile.

      • ‘Will my princess be disappointed when she discovers I am firing blanks?’
  • draw a blank

    • Elicit no successful response; fail.

      ‘the search drew a blank’
      • ‘Detectives initially drew a blank as no one of that name was registered missing.’
      • ‘Within days of his death, they went to the home of his widow and daughters to conduct an early-morning search, but drew a blank.’
      • ‘The journalist drew a blank when he tried to find out more from villagers.’
      • ‘As if out of habit, he went online and entered the words in the search engine, but drew a blank.’
      • ‘By Saturday, the negotiators working ahead of Wednesday's summit had drawn a blank: there will be nothing beyond a statement of broad principles.’
      • ‘The inspector said today that conventional methods of identification, including DNA and fingerprinting, had drawn a blank.’
      • ‘Many searches ultimately draw a blank, but people do turn up on occasion.’
      • ‘Inquires made by the administrative officer on my behalf have drawn a blank.’
      • ‘As their searches drew a blank, fears grew that she had been abducted, or even run away from the school party.’
      • ‘Police investigations at the time drew a blank, and no firm reason could be found for his disappearance.’


Middle English (in the sense white, colorless): from Old French blanc white ultimately of Germanic origin.