- blind (adj.)
- Old English blind "blind," 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" (see bleach (v.)). Compare Lithuanian blendzas "blind," blesti "to become dark." 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).
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]
In reference to doing something without seeing it first, by 1840. Of aviators flying without instruments or without clear observation, from 1919. Related: Blinded; blinding. Blindman's bluff is from 1580s.
- blind (v.)
- "deprive of sight," early 13c., from Old English blendan "to blind, deprive of sight; deceive," from Proto-Germanic *blandjan (see blind (adj.)); form influenced in Middle English by the adjective. Related: Blinded; blinding.
- blind (n.)
- "a blind person; blind persons collectively," late Old Engish, from blind (adj.). Meaning "place of concealment" is from 1640s. Meaning "anything that obstructs sight" is from 1702.