blank
Pronunciation Adjective

blank (comparative blanker, superlative blankest)

  1. (archaic) White or pale; without colour.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book IX ↗”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗, lines 656–657:
      To the blanc Moone / Her office they preſcrib'd,
  2. Free from writing, printing, or marks; having an empty space to be filled in
    blank paper
    a blank check
    a blank ballot
  3. (sports) Scoreless; without any goals or points.
  4. (figurative) Lacking characteristics which give variety; uniform.
    a blank desert; a blank wall; blank unconsciousness
  5. Absolute; downright; sheer.
    There was a look of blank terror on his face.
  6. Without expression.
    Failing to understand the question, he gave me a blank stare.
  7. Utterly confounded or discomfited.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book VIII ↗”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗, lines 888–890:
      Adam [...] Aſtonied ſtood and Blank,
  8. Empty; void; without result; fruitless.
    a blank day
  9. Devoid of thoughts, memory, or inspiration.
    The shock left his memory blank.
  10. (military) Of ammunition: having propellant but no bullets; unbulleted.
    The recruits were issued with blank rounds for a training exercise.
Translations
  • German: ausdruckslos
  • Italian: intonso
  • Russian: бе́лый
  • Spanish: en blanco
Translations Translations
  • Italian: cartuccia a salve
  • Portuguese: bala de festim
  • Russian: холосто́й
  • Spanish: de fogueo
Noun

blank (plural blanks)

  1. (archaic, historical, obsolete) A small French coin, originally of silver, afterwards of copper, worth 5 deniers; also a silver coin of Henry V current in the parts of France then held by the English, worth about 8 pence [15th–17th century].
  2. (obsolete) A nonplus [16th century].
  3. The white spot in the centre of a target; hence (figuratively) the object to which anything is directed or aimed, the range of such aim [since the 16th century].
  4. A lot by which nothing is gained; a ticket in a lottery on which no prize is indicated [since the 16th century].
    • 1693, Decimus Junius Juvenalis; Thomas Creech, transl., “[The Satires of Decimus Junius Juvenalis.] The Satyr”, in The Satires of Decimus Junius Juvenalis. Translated into English Verse. […] Together with the Satires of Aulus Persius Flaccus. […], London: Printed for Jacob Tonson […], OCLC 80026745 ↗, page 257 ↗:
      {...}} and in Fortune's Lottery lies / A heap of Blanks, like this, for one ſmall Prize.
  5. An empty space; a void, for example on a paper [since the 16th century].
    1. A space to be filled in on a form or template.
      Write your answers in the blanks.
    2. Provisional words printed in italics (instead of blank spaces) in a bill before Parliament, being matters of practical detail, of which the final form will be settled in Committee [since the 19th century].
  6. (now chiefly U.S.) A document, paper, or form with spaces left blank to be filled up at the pleasure of the person to whom it is given (e.g. a blank charter, ballot, form, contract, etc.), or as the event may determine; a blank form [since the 16th century].
    1. An empty form without substance; anything insignificant; nothing at all [since the 17th century].
    2. An unprinted leaf of a book [20th century].
  7. (literature) Blank verse [since the 16th century].
  8. (mechanics, engineering) A piece of metal (such as a coin, screw, nuts), cut and shaped to the required size of the thing to be made, and ready for the finishing operations; (coining) the disc of metal before stamping [since the 16th century].
    1. Any article of glass on which subsequent processing is required [since the 19th century].
    2. (electric recording) The shaved wax ready for placing on a recording machine for making wax records with a stylus [20th century].
  9. (figurative) A vacant space, place, or period; a void [since the 17th century].
    • c. 1601–1602, William Shakespeare, “Twelfe Night, or VVhat You VVill”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene iv], page 263 ↗, column 1:
      Du. And what's her hiſtory?
      Vio. A blanke my Lord:
  10. The 1 / 230400 of a grain [17th century].
  11. An empty space in one's memory; a forgotten item or memory [since the 18th century].
  12. A dash written in place of an omitted letter or word [since the 18th century]
  13. The space character; the character resulting from pressing the space-bar on a keyboard.
  14. (dominoes) A domino without points on one or both of its divisions.
    the double blank
    the six blank
  15. (firearms) Short for blank cartridge#English|blank cartridge. [since the 19th century].
  16. (figurative, in the expression ‘shooting blanks’, sport) An ineffective effort which achieves nothing [since the 20th century].
    1. (chemistry) A sample for a control experiment that does not contain any of the analyte of interest, in order to deliberately produce a non-detection to verify that a detection is distinguishable from it.
    2. (slang) Infertile semen.
Synonyms Translations Translations
  • German: Lücke
  • Portuguese: lacuna
  • Russian: пустой
  • Spanish: espacio en blanco
Translations
  • French: préforme
  • Russian: загото́вка
Translations Translations Translations
  • French: balle à blanc, cartouche à blanc
  • German: Platzpatrone
  • Italian: cartuccia a salve
  • Portuguese: festim
  • Russian: холосто́й патро́н
  • Spanish: cartucho de fogueo, bala de salva
Verb

blank (blanks, present participle blanking; past and past participle blanked)

  1. (transitive) To make void; to erase.
    I blanked out my previous entry.
  2. (transitive, slang) To ignore (a person) deliberately.
    She blanked me for no reason.
  3. (transitive) To prevent from scoring, for example in a sporting event.
    The team was blanked.
    England blanks Wales to advance to the final.
  4. (intransitive) To become blank.
  5. (intransitive) To be temporarily unable to remember.
    I'm blanking on her name right now.
Translations
Blank
Proper noun
  1. Surname
    • 1987, Latin American Research Review (page 238)
      The same preoccupation with developing a conceptual framework is evident in David Blank's Venezuela: Politics in a Petroleum Republic, a modified version of Blank's early theses.
  2. (chiefly, dated) Used as an anonymous placeholder for a person's name.
    • 1922, The Saturday Review (volume 133, page 359)
      Miss Compton, in 'Other People's Worries,' asks rhetorically whether a young rip was not in the Blank divorce case.
Related terms


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