A person who is blind has lost his or her sight. When this word is used literally, a person really can’t see:
- Tony has been blind since he was a little boy.
- He was blinded in a tragic accident. (The sentence uses the word "blind" as a verb.)
- Blind people can read by using braille.
- People who are blind often use guide dogs.
He uses a guide dog.
The word "blind" can also be used figuratively. In this case, a person has the physical ability to see but fails to understand a situation or doesn’t realize that something is true:
- Blinded by ambition, she neglected the responsibilities of raising her two children.
- Bob was blinded by Griselda’s beauty and could not see the dark side of her personality.
- Maria is blind to the possibilities offered by a good college education.
Sometimes we say we are blind because a condition creates difficulty for clear sight:
- She was temporarily blinded by the snow and the sunlight.
- This car has a blind spot. It’s hard to see things on the left side.
- The driver was blinded by an oncoming car that had its brights on. (brights = bright lights)
The word "blindness" is a noun:
- Many people have some form of blindness past the age of 80.
- Blindness is difficult to cure.
- Ray Charles never allowed his blindness to get in the way of his interest in music.
When this word is used as a noun in the plural form, it refers to window coverings:
- Blinds on the window provide privacy and control the amount of light entering a room.
- Could you please close the blinds? There’s too much sun getting into the room.
- At night they close the blinds. In the morning, they open them.
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September 2, 2013