Old English blind "destitute of sight," also "dark, enveloped in darkness, obscure; unintelligent, lacking mental perception," probably from Proto-Germanic *blinda- "blind" (source also of Dutch and German blind, Old Norse blindr, Gothic blinds "blind"), perhaps, via notion of "to make cloudy, deceive," from an extended Germanic form of the PIE root *bhel-(1) "to shine, flash, burn."
The original sense would be not "sightless" but rather "confused," which perhaps underlies such phrases as blind alley (1580s; Chaucer's lanes blynde), which is older than the sense of "closed at one end" (1610s).
Meaning "not directed or controlled by reason" was in Old English. Meaning "without opening for admitting light or seeing through" is from c. 1600. In reference to acting without seeing or investigating first, by 1840; of aviators flying without instruments or without clear observation, from 1919.
The twilight, or rather the hour between the time when one can no longer see to read and the lighting of the candles, is commonly called blindman's holiday. [Grose, 1796]
"a blind person; blind persons collectively," late Old English, from blind (adj.). Meaning "place of concealment," especially for a hunter or fowler, is from 1640s. Meaning "anything that obstructs sight" is from 1702.
"make blind, deprive of sight," early 13c., from Old English blendan "to blind, deprive of sight; deceive," from Proto-Germanic *blandjan (source also of Old Frisian blinda, Dutch blinden, Old High German blinden "become blind;" Danish blinde, Gothic gablindjan "make blind"), perhaps, via notion of "to make cloudy, deceive," from an extended Germanic form of the PIE root *bhel-(1) "to shine, flash, burn (see blind (adj.)). Form influenced in Middle English by the adjective. Related: Blinded; blinding.
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