Wink vs blink

Photo of author


Wink and blink are two words that are close in meaning but are very different; the two terms are sometimes confused but have a very different meaning in a social context. We will examine the difference between the definitions for wink and blink, where these two words came from, and some examples of their use in sentences.

A wink is the deliberate act of closing one eye and then rapidly opening it again. A wink is a facial expression that only involves one eye, the other eye remains open while one winks. Wink is a noun or a verb, related words are winks, winked, winking. A wink may have many meanings. One may wink as a subtle cue of romantic interest in someone. One may wink as a jolly sign of greeting. Winking may also be a signal that one is teasing or as a silent signal that someone else in the group is in on a joke that the others are not. Wink is also used to describe an intermittently blinking light. Wink is used figuratively to mean ignoring a transgression or pretending not to notice a transgression. The word wink is derived from the Old English word wincian, which means to blink quickly.

Blink means to close both eyes and rapidly open them. A blink involves both eyes and is usually involuntary, though one may blink purposely when one’s eyes are irritated or when one wants to avoid seeing something or is surprised. If you startle someone, they may flutter their eyelids rapidly in a spontaneous manner. Humans blink many times a minute; the blink rate may vary from person to person, the number of blinks per minute dependent on whether the person has a tic, dry eye, or has been exposed to allergens. The word blink may be used as a noun or a verb, related words are blinks, blinked, blinking. Blink may mean a light that flashes on and off. Blink may also be used figuratively to mean that someone has backed down from a confrontation or a fight. The word blink is derived from the Middle English word blenk, meaning to shine. The idiom blink of an eye means very rapidly.


That message will either be a strong warning that public servants who abuse their positions do so at great risk or that white collar crime is “no big deal” and that Baltimore is open for business as usual (wink, wink). (The Baltimore Sun)

The painter does wink at the museum, though, by accessorizing the rim of the sunken bathtub with two Renaissance Italian urns from the Met collection. (The Observer)

It’s at dusk when the visual magic happens, as strings of lights wink on, the neon springs to life of the Instagrammatical “Brewston” cargo crate, and the gigantic, ghostly Beatles sculptures come alive with up-lit color. (The Houston Chronicle)

During a propaganda-type video of Denton, not being allowed to say the truth, he blinked his eyes with rapidity, but only those who knew Morse Code knew what he was trying to impart: Torture. (Belleville News-Democrat)

Keeping the consumer concerns in mind, the government blinked on this issue on Wednesday and decided to relax norms, related to supply demand and facilitate import of the key kitchen staple from Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey and Iran to boost domestic stock. (The Deccan Chronicle)

Help Us Improve!

Help Us Improve!

- Did we make a mistake?
- Do you have feedback or suggestions on how we can improve?