Etymology
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flicker (v.)

Old English flicorian "to flutter, flap quickly and lightly, move the wings," originally of birds. Onomatopoeic and suggestive of quick motion. Sense of "shine with a wavering light" is c. 1600, but not common till 19c. Related: Flickered; flickering.

flicker (n.1)

1849, "wavering, unsteady light or flame;" 1857 as "a flickering," from flicker (v.).

flicker (n.2)

type of North American woodpecker, 1808, American English, said to be echoic of bird's note, or from black spots on plumage of the underparts that seem to flicker as it flits from tree to tree.

updated on November 24, 2014

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Definitions of flicker from WordNet
1
flicker (v.)
move back and forth very rapidly;
the candle flickered
Synonyms: waver / flitter / flutter / quiver
flicker (v.)
shine unsteadily;
The candle flickered
Synonyms: flick
flicker (v.)
flash intermittently;
Synonyms: flick
2
flicker (n.)
a momentary flash of light;
Synonyms: spark / glint
flicker (n.)
North American woodpecker;
flicker (n.)
the act of moving back and forth;
Synonyms: waver / flutter
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.