Draw A Blank

Meaning of Idiom ‘Draw a Blank’

Draw a Blank: To try to find something, obtain something, accomplish something, etc. and fail; to try to think of something and fail; to get no result or response.


“I’ve been looking for the missing file for weeks but I’ve drawn a blank.”

“I tried to get some friends to help me move but I drew a blank.”

“We’ve tried to get to the senator but we drew a blank.”

“I know his face but every time I try to think of his name, I draw a blank.”


Dating from the early 1800’s, the expression alludes to drawing a lottery or raffle ticket with nothing written on it, so that one cannot win a prize. (Bloomsbury Dictionary of IdiomsAmerican Heritage Dictionary of Idioms)

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