draw a blank


draw a blank


  • to get no response from someone
  • to not be able to say anything
  • to not be able to find anything
  • to be unresponsive
  • to stop or to halt entirely
  • be unable to get information

Example Sentences

  1. The bank manager will question you on why you need such a big amount as loan. You have to be confident in your answers and for heaven’s sake do not draw a blank at that time.
  2. I had prepared quite a bit for the interview but drew a blank as soon as I sat down in from of the interviewing manager. It will be silly to expect them to call me back now.
  3. My husband drew a blank when we were getting interviewed at my daughter’s school. I really hope that she gets in now.
  4. He has massive stage fright and always draws a blank when he is up there.
  5. The prime minister can give a speech totally unprepared. He never draws a blank on stage.
  6. The investigation drew a blank after the key witness was killed in an accident.
  7. We’ve requested hundreds of private schools to join the ‘low-cost education’ campaign, but so far we’ve drawn a blank.


The phrase is speculated to have originated in America and refers to being ‘blank’ from an accountancy or financial point of view, which means to be exhausted and without anything further.

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