blanch, blench
Blanch means first and foremost ‘to make (something) white’ (especially vegetables by dipping them in boiling water) and (intransitively) ‘to become pale’ (from fear, shock, embarrassment, etc.); a by-form blench is also used in this sense. Confusingly, there is another (Old English) word blench, which overlaps slightly with blanch/blench in its meaning ‘to quail, flinch’, as in

• Strong men blenched and broke into a sweat of embarrassment when made to dance ‘Ring-a-ring o' roses’ in public outside Guildhall —Times, 1974.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Blench — Blench, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Blenched}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Blenching}.] [OE. blenchen to blench, elude, deceive, AS. blencan to deceive; akin to Icel. blekkja to impose upon. Prop. a causative of blink to make to wink, to deceive. See {Blink}, and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • blench — blench; blench·ing·ly; un·blench·ing·ly; …   English syllables

  • blench — blench1 [blench] vt., vi. [var. of BLANCH] to make or become pale; whiten; bleach blench2 [blench] vi. [ME blenchen, move suddenly, avoid < OE blencan, to deceive, akin to Ger blinken; ult. < IE base of BLANK] to shrink back, as in fear;… …   English World dictionary

  • Blench — Blench, n. A looking aside or askance. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] These blenches gave my heart another youth. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Blench — Blench, v. i. & t. [See 1st {Blanch}.] To grow or make pale. Barbour. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Blench — Blench, v. t. 1. To baffle; to disconcert; to turn away; also, to obstruct; to hinder. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Ye should have somewhat blenched him therewith, yet he might and would of likelihood have gone further. Sir T. More. [1913 Webster] 2. To …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • blench — [ blentʃ ] verb intransitive MAINLY LITERARY to quickly make a movement away from something or turn pale because you are very frightened …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • blench — (v.) O.E. blencan deceive, cheat, from P.Gmc. *blenk to shine, dazzle, blind, from PIE root *bhel (1) to shine, flash, burn (see BLEACH (Cf. bleach)). Sense of move suddenly, wince, dodge is from c.1300. Related: Blenched; blenching …   Etymology dictionary

  • blench — quail, shrink, *recoil, flinch, wince Analogous words: evade, elude, avoid, shun, eschew, *escape: tremble, quiver, shudder, quake, *shake Contrasted words: *bear, suffer, endure, abide, stand …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • blench — ► VERB ▪ make a sudden flinching movement out of fear or pain. ORIGIN Old English, «deceive» …   English terms dictionary

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