A flick is a quick, short movement, usually coming from the wrist or hand. There used to be a "Flick a Bic" cigarette ad: cigarettes are awful, but starting a lighter is a classic flick.

The most common flick is probably turning a switch on or off — people flick switches, like light switches. Flicking is also used when describing golfers and basketball players. A fast, sharp golf shot could be called a flick. A quick basketball shot — like tipping the ball in with one second left in the game — is also a flick. A flick can also be described as a quick jerk — not a jerk as in a bad person, but a tiny movement. If you're using your whole body or even your whole arm, you're not flicking.

Primary Meanings of flick

throw or toss with a quick motion
a light sharp contact (usually with something flexible)
look through a book or other written material
shine unsteadily
a form of entertainment that enacts a story by sound and a sequence of images giving the illusion of continuous movement
Full Definitions of flick

v throw or toss with a quick motion

flick a piece of paper across the table”
Type of:
force, push
move with force

v cause to move with a flick

“he flicked his Bic”
Type of:
propel through the air

v touch or hit with a light, quick blow

flicked him with his hand”
Type of:
touch lightly and briefly

v cause to make a snapping sound

click, snap
Type of:
move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion

v twitch or flutter

“the paper flicked
riffle, ruffle
Type of:
displace, move
cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense

v remove with a flick (of the hand)

Type of:
remove, take, take away, withdraw
remove something concrete, as by lifting, pushing, or taking off, or remove something abstract

n a light sharp contact (usually with something flexible)

“he gave it a flick with his finger”
“he felt the flick of a whip”
Type of:
contact, impinging, striking
the physical coming together of two or more things

n a short stroke

Type of:
a mark made on a surface by a pen, pencil, or paintbrush

v look through a book or other written material

flip, leaf, riff, riffle, thumb
Type of:
examine or consider with attention and in detail

v shine unsteadily

Type of:
beam, shine
emit light; be bright, as of the sun or a light

v flash intermittently

“The lights flicked on and off”
Type of:
blink, flash, twinkle, wink, winkle
gleam or glow intermittently

n a form of entertainment that enacts a story by sound and a sequence of images giving the illusion of continuous movement

film, motion picture, motion-picture show, movie, moving picture, moving-picture show, pic, picture, picture show
show 22 types...
hide 22 types...
a movie that is made to be shown on television
feature, feature film
the principal (full-length) film in a program at a movie theater
final cut
the final edited version of a movie as approved by the director and producer
home movie
a film made at home by an amateur photographer
collage film
a movie that juxtaposes different kinds of footage
coming attraction
a movie that is advertised to draw customers
a movie featuring shooting and violence
short subject
a brief film; often shown prior to showing the feature
docudrama, documentary, documentary film, infotainment
a film or TV program presenting the facts about a person or event
cinema verite
a movie that shows ordinary people in actual activities without being controlled by a director
film noir
a movie that is marked by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, menace, and cynical characters
skin flick
a pornographic movie
rough cut
the first print of a movie after preliminary editing
silent movie, silent picture, silents
a movie without a soundtrack
slow motion
a movie that apparently takes place at a slower than normal speed; achieved by taking the film at a faster rate
talkie, talking picture
a movie with synchronized speech and singing
3-D, 3D, three-D
a movie with images having three dimensional form or appearance
musical, musical comedy, musical theater
a play or film whose action and dialogue is interspersed with singing and dancing
Western, horse opera
a film about life in the western United States during the period of exploration and development
animated cartoon, cartoon, toon
a film made by photographing a series of cartoon drawings to give the illusion of movement when projected in rapid sequence
a short film and commentary about current events
a short pornographic film shown in a small coin-operated booth
Type of:
product, production
an artifact that has been created by someone or some process
a social event involving a public performance or entertainment

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.