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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.
    • 2021 November 7, Laura Spinney, “Can history teach us anything about the future of war – and peace?”, in The Guardian[2]:
      [] and therefore it’s too soon to say if the supposed “long peace” we’ve been enjoying since the end of the second world war is a blip or a sustained trend.
  4. (Internet, historical) An individual message or document in the Google Wave software framework.
    • 2010, Gina Trapani; Adam Pash, The Complete Guide to Google Wave, page 51:
      When a participant has full access permissions to a wave, he or she can change the contents of all blips and reply within or after blips.
    • 2010, Andres Ferrate, Google Wave: Up and Running, page 87:
      Although the wiki-like editing capabilities of Google Wave represent a valuable feature, there is some debate about whether participants should edit other participants' blips or their own blips.

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

  1. (intransitive, informal) 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.
  2. (transitive) Synonym of bleep (to replace offending words in a broadcast recording with a tone)
    • 2003, Harry Castleman; Walter J. Podrazik, Watching TV: Six Decades of American Television, page 155:
      [] even walking off his own show once after an NBC censor had arbitrarily blipped a mildly risque joke from the day's tape.

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