adj. blank·er, blank·est
a. Devoid of writing, images, or marks: a blank wall; a blank screen.
b. Containing no information; unrecorded or erased: a blank tape; a blank diskette. See Synonyms at empty.
c. Having spaces for information to be provided; not completed or filled in: a blank questionnaire.
2. Not having received final processing; unfinished: a blank key.
a. Devoid of thought or impression: a blank mind.
b. Showing no expression, interest, or understanding; expressionless: a blank stare.
4. Devoid of activity or distinctive character; empty: tried to fill the blank hours of the day.
5. Absolute; complete: a blank refusal.
a. An empty space or place, especially an empty space on a document to be filled in.
b. A document with one or more such spaces.
a. Something without information or thought: When I read that question on the test, my mind was a blank.
b. Something showing no expression or understanding: When he told his mother what happened, her face was a blank.
3. A manufactured article of a standard shape or form that is ready for final processing, as by stamping or cutting: a key blank.
4. A blank cartridge.
5. Something worthless, such as a losing lottery ticket.
6. A mark, usually a dash (—), indicating the omission of a word or of a letter or letters.
7. The white circle in the center of a target; a bull's-eye.
8. Games An unmarked piece or portion of a piece, as a domino tile, whose value may be determined by the holder.
v. blanked, blank·ing, blanks
1. To remove, as from view; obliterate: "At times the strong glare of the sun blanked it from sight" (Richard Wright).
2. To block access to: blank off a subway tunnel.
3. Sports To prevent (an opponent) from scoring.
4. To punch or stamp from flat stock, especially with a die.
1. To become abstracted. Often used with out: My mind blanked out for a few seconds.
2. To fail to find or remember something: I blanked when asked the name of our mayor.
3. To fade away: The music gradually blanked out.
[Middle English, white, having spaces to be filled in, from Old French blanc, white, of Germanic origin; see bhel-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.