Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French blanc colorless, white, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German blanch white; probably akin to Latin flagrare to burn — more at black
Date: 14th century
1. archaic colorless
a. appearing or causing to appear dazed, confounded, or nonplussed <stared in blank dismay> b. expressionless <a blank stare> 3. a. devoid of covering or content; especially free from writing or marks <blank paper> b. having spaces to be filled in c. lacking interest, variety, or change <blank hours> 4. absolute, unqualified <a blank refusal> 5. unfinished; especially having a plain or unbroken surface where an opening is usual <a blank key> <a blank arch> Synonyms: see empty • blankly adverb • blankness noun II. noun Date: 1554 1. obsolete the bull's-eye of a target 2. a. an empty space (as on a paper) b. a paper with spaces for the entry of data <an order blank> 3. a. a piece of material prepared to be made into something (as a key) by a further operation b. a cartridge loaded with propellant and a seal but no projectile 4. a. an empty or featureless place or space <my mind was a blank> b. a vacant or uneventful period <a long blank in history> 5. a dash substituting for an omitted word III. verb Date: circa 1765 transitive verb 1. a. obscure, obliterate <blank out a line> b. to stop access to ; seal <blank off a tunnel> 2. to keep (an opponent) from scoring <were blanked for eight innings> intransitive verb 1. fade — usually used with out <the music blanked out> 2. to become confused or abstracted — often used with out <his mind blanked out momentarily>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.