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twinkle ​[intransitive] to shine with a light that keeps changing from bright to pale to bright again

Stars twinkled in the sky.

twinkling lights in the distance


blink ​[intransitive] to shine with an unsteady light; to flash on and off

Suddenly a warning light blinked.


What are the differences between "The light is blinking" and "The light is twinkling"?

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"Blinking" is a very specific on-off sequence. A blinking light goes on, and then off repeatedly, like the turning indicator on a vehicle. A similar word is "flashing".

"Twinkling" is different. It is something normally said about the light from stars, rather than artificial lights. The dictionary says "shining with a gleam that changes from bright to faint". If you look at a star, it never goes off, but the light we see from stars rapidly changes due to atmospheric conditions.

A similar word is "flickering" - this is used to describe the flame of a fire, but also the random fluctuation in any kind of light, such as when an artificial light is beginning to fail.

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