When you nictate, you blink. Snakes don't have eyelids, so they can't nictate.

The technical term for what you do when your eyelids close is nictate, or alternately, nictitate. Whether you're blinking in the sunshine or winking at your friend after giving the substitute math teacher a hard time, you nictate. Almost every single animal has the ability to nictate, and even those without true eyelids have a protective membrane that occasionally covers their eyeballs. The Latin root is nictare, "to blink."

Definitions of nictate

v briefly shut the eyes

blink, nictitate, wink
wink or blink, especially repeatedly
bat, flutter
wink briefly
Type of:
act involuntarily, act reflexively
act in an uncontrolled manner

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