from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Sightless.
  • adjective Having a maximal visual acuity of the better eye, after correction by refractive lenses, of one-tenth normal vision or less (20/200 or less on the Snellen test).
  • adjective Of, relating to, or for sightless persons.
  • adjective Performed or made without the benefit of background information that might prejudice the outcome or result.
  • adjective Performed without preparation, experience, or knowledge.
  • adjective Performed by instruments and without the use of sight.
  • adjective Unable or unwilling to perceive or understand.
  • adjective Not based on reason or evidence; unquestioning.
  • adjective Slang Drunk.
  • adjective Lacking reason or purpose.
  • adjective Difficult to comprehend or see; illegible.
  • adjective Incompletely or illegibly addressed.
  • adjective Hidden from sight.
  • adjective Screened from the view of oncoming motorists.
  • adjective Secret or otherwise undisclosed.
  • adjective Closed at one end.
  • adjective Having no opening.
  • adjective Botany Failing to produce flowers or fruits.
  • noun Blind people considered as a group. Used with the:
  • noun Something, such as a window shade or a Venetian blind, that hinders vision or shuts out light.
  • noun A shelter for concealing hunters, photographers, or observers of wildlife.
  • noun Something intended to conceal the true nature, especially of an activity; a subterfuge.
  • noun A forced bet in poker that is placed before the cards are dealt.
  • adverb Without seeing; blindly.
  • adverb Without the aid of visual reference.
  • adverb Without forethought or provision; unawares.
  • adverb Without significant information, especially that might affect an outcome or result.
  • adverb Informal Into a stupor.
  • adverb Used as an intensive.
  • transitive verb To deprive of sight.
  • transitive verb To dazzle.
  • transitive verb To deprive of perception or insight.
  • transitive verb To withhold light from.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Anything which obstructs the sight, intercepts the view, or keeps out light.
  • noun Specifically— A screen of some sort to prevent too strong a light from shining in at a window, or to keep people from seeing in; a sun-screen or shade for a window, made of cloth, laths, etc., and used either inside or outside.
  • noun One of a pair of pieces of leather, generally square, attached to a horse's bridle on either side of his head to prevent him from seeing sidewise or backward; a blinder or blinker.
  • noun A strong plank shutter placed in front of a port-hole as soon as the gun has been discharged.
  • noun Something intended to mislead the eye or the understanding by concealing, or diverting attention from, the principal object or true design; a pretense or pretext.
  • noun A hiding-place; an ambush or covert, especially one prepared for concealing a hunter or fowler from his game.
  • noun Milit., a kind of bomb-proof shelter for men or material; a blindage.
  • noun A single blind is commonly made of three strong perpendicular posts with planks between them, covered with plates of iron on the outside, rendering them shot-proof. It is used as a protection to laborers in the trenches. A double blind is made by filling large wooden chests with earth or bags of sand.
  • noun In the game of poker, the stake deposited in the pool previous to the deal.
  • To make blind; deprive of sight; render incapable of seeing, wholly or partially.
  • To dim the perception or discernment of; make morally or intellectually blind.
  • To render dark, literally or figuratively; obscure to the eye or to the mind; conceal.
  • To dim or obscure by excess of light; outshine; eclipse.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English; see bhel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English blind, from Proto-Germanic *blindaz. Akin to German blind, Old High German blint.


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  • "You might be wondering how to refer to people with vision, hearing, and mobility problems or specific diseases. It’s OK to refer to someone as blind but it’s better to say, 'a person who is blind' than 'a blind person', although organizations that serve people who are blind have names that reflect the old way of thinking, for example The American Council of the Blind. On the site for the Perkins School of the Blind, for instance, people who are blind are referred to as 'people with visual impairments' and 'people who are visually impaired'."

    - Bonnie Trenga, What to Call People With Disabilities, 30 Jan 2009.

    February 16, 2009

  • In heraldry, without an eye; used to describe quatrefoils and cinquefoils that are not pierced.

    October 7, 2011