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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.
    • 1985, Frederick Forsyth, The Fourth Protocol
      When the blip began to move up the oscilloscope screen, they followed again.
    • 2004, Asaf Degani, Taming HAL: Designing Interfaces Beyond 2001
      At 6:45 pm, the chief officer saw a blip on the radar, approximately seven nautical miles away.
  2. A short sound of a single pitch, usually electronically generated.
    • 2000, Ken Norton, Going the Distance
      Blip..Blip..Blip..Blip  There was that annoying noise again.
    • 2002, Richard Strozzi-Heckler, In Search of the Warrior Spirit: Teaching Awareness Disciplines to the Green Berets
      The little “blip” sound that happens when a balloon is shot down becomes a duet with the player. “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
      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
      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, 28 February, Gary Younge, "The Tea Party is a dynamic force, but it is still unruly and incoherent",
      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, Hearing Before the Special Committee on Aging, United States Senate, Defining the Frontier: A Policy Challenge
      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.
    • 1996, John Dunning, The Bookman's Wake
      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.
    • 2003, Dennis Lehane, Mystic River
      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....
    • 2005, Craig Lansford, Tales from Salome: Broken Angel
      The screen blipped out as the connection was terminated.... A few seconds passed before the screen again blipped to life.