flick·er 1 (flĭkər)
v. flick·ered, flick·er·ing, flick·ers
1. To move waveringly; flutter: shadows flickering on the wall.
a. To burn or shine unsteadily or fitfully: The candle flickered before sputtering out.
b. To be displayed with fluctuating brightness: A movie flickered on the screen.
3. To appear briefly: A smile flickered on her face.
To cause to move waveringly.
1. A brief movement; a tremor.
2. An inconstant or wavering light.
3. A brief or slight sensation: a flicker of doubt.
[Middle English flikeren, to flutter, from Old English flicerian.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.