flicker

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English flikeren (to flutter), from Old English flicerian, flicorian (to flutter). Akin to Dutch flikkeren (to flutter).

Noun[edit]

flicker (plural flickers)

  1. An unsteady flash of light.
  2. A short moment.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 8, The China Governess[1]:
      It was a casual sneer, obviously one of a long line. There was hatred behind it, but of a quiet, chronic type, nothing new or unduly virulent, and he was taken aback by the flicker of amazed incredulity that passed over the younger man's ravaged face.
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

flicker (third-person singular simple present flickers, present participle flickering, simple past and past participle flickered)

  1. (intransitive) To burn or shine unsteadily. To burn or shine with a wavering light.
    • Tennyson
      The shadows flicker to and fro.
    • 1907, Robert Chambers, chapter 3, The Younger Set[2]:
      Long after his cigar burnt bitter, he sat with eyes fixed on the blaze. When the flames at last began to flicker and subside, his lids fluttered, then drooped ; … .
  2. (intransitive) To keep going on and off; to appear and disappear for short moments; to flutter.
    • 1898, J. Meade Falkner, Moonfleet Chapter 3
      There I lay on one side with a thin and rotten plank between the dead man and me, dazed with the blow to my head, and breathing hard; while the glow of torches as they came down the passage reddened and flickered on the roof above.
    • 1908, Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
      The ruddy brick floor smiled up at the smoky ceiling; the oaken settles, shiny with long wear, exchanged cheerful glances with each other; plates on the dresser grinned at pots on the shelf, and the merry firelight flickered and played over everything without distinction.
  3. To flutter; to flap the wings without flying.
    • Dryden
      And flickering on her nest made short essays to sing.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

1808, American English, probably echoic of the bird's call, or from the white spotted plumage which appears to flicker.

Noun[edit]

flicker (plural flickers)

A Northern flicker
  1. (US) A certain type of small woodpecker, especially of the genus Colaptes
Translations[edit]
See also[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

flick +‎ -er

Noun[edit]

flicker (plural flickers)

  1. One who flicks.
Derived terms[edit]