blind / blīnd/ • adj. 1. unable to see; sightless: she suffered from glaucoma, which has left her completely blind. ∎ (of an action, esp. a test or experiment) done without being able to see or without being in possession of certain information; compare with double blind: a blind tasting of eight wines. ∎ Aeron. (of flying) using instruments only: blind landings during foggy conditions. 2. lacking perception or discernment: he's absolutely blind where you're concerned, isn't he? ∎ (blind to) unwilling or unable to appreciate or notice something apparent to others: she was blind to the realities of her position. ∎ (of an action or state of mind) not controlled by reason or judgment: they left in blind panic. 3. concealed or closed, in particular: ∎ (of a corner or bend in a road) impossible to see around: two trucks collided on a blind curve in the road. • v. [tr.] 1. cause (someone) to be unable to see, permanently or temporarily: the injury temporarily blinded him. 2. (be blinded) deprive (someone) of understanding, judgment, or perception: a clever tactician blinded by passion. ∎ (blind someone with) confuse or overawe someone with something difficult to understand: they try to blind you with science. • n. 1. [as pl. n.] (the blind) people who are unable to see: guide dogs for the blind. 2. an obstruction to sight or light, in particular: ∎ a screen for a window, esp. one on a roller or made of slats: she pulled down the blinds. 3. [in sing.] something designed to conceal one's real intentions: he phoned again from his own home: that was just a blind for his wife. ∎ a camouflaged shelter used by hunters to get close to wildlife: a duck blind. • adv. without being able to see clearly: he was the first pilot in history to fly blind. ∎ without having all the relevant information; unprepared: he was going into the interview blind. PHRASES: (as) blind as a bat inf. having very bad eyesight. blind drunk inf. extremely drunk. rob (or steal) someone blind inf. rob or cheat someone in a comprehensive or merciless way. turn a blind eye pretend not to notice. DERIVATIVES: blind·ness n.
blind as a bat completely blind, a simile recorded from the late 16th century; earlier comparisons of this kind were to beetles and moles, the common point being that all were seen as creatures who habitually moved in darkness.
blind man's buff a game in which a blindfold player tries to catch others while being pushed about by them; buff here means a buffet or blow.
a blind man's wife needs no paint there is no point in making efforts that cannot be appreciated; saying recorded from the mid 17th century.
blind with science confuse by the use of long or technical words or involved explanations; the expression is recorded from the 1930s.
there's none so blind as those who will not see used in reference to someone who is unwilling to recognize unwelcome facts, and recorded from the mid 16th century. A similar formation to there's none so deaf as those who will not hear.
turn a blind eye pretend not to notice. The expression is said to be in allusion to Lord Nelson (see Nelson), who lifted a telescope to his blind eye at the Battle of Copenhagen (1801), thus not seeing the signal to ‘discontinue the action’.
when the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch when a person is guided by someone equally inexperienced, both are likely to come to grief. The saying is recorded from the late 9th century, and alludes to Matthew 15:14, ‘Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.’ Now most commonly in the metaphorical phrase, the blind leading the blind.
See also in the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, love is blind, a nod's as good as a wink to a blind horse, nothing so bold as a blind mare.
1. As blank. Anything engaged or attached to a wall, with no openings or glazing, used decoratively, such as an arcade or tracery, is described as blind, as in a blind arcade or blind tracery.
2. Device for partially or wholly preventing light from passing through an opening, such as a piece of flexible material attached at the top to a roller on which it is unwound or wound, or a screen with fixed or moveable slats (Venetian blind).
Hence blind vb. XIII; repl. †blend, OE. blendan = OHG. blentan (G. blenden) :- WGmc. *blandjan. blind sb. screen; misleading pretext XVII. blind-man's-buff (see BUFF1). XVI. blind-worm slow-worm XV; cf. Du. blindworm.