General English


  • Applying a layer of weak concrete or other suitable material to reduce surface voids or to provide a clean, dry working surface.
  • The clogging of the openings in a screen or sieve by the material being separated.
  • Applying small chips of stone to a freshly tarred surface.

Health Economics

  • (written as Blinding)
    Blinding (sometimes called 'masking') refers to a set of techniques designed to reduce bias in trials. A double-blind trial is where neither the patient nor the observer/clinician is aware of whether the patient is in the control or experimental arm of a trial. A single-blind trial is where the patient (or observer/clinician) is aware of which arm they are in but the observer/clinician (or patient) is not. A triple-blind trial is one in which subjects, observers/clinicians and analysts are unaware of patient assignment to the arms of the trial. In trials of different styles of patient management or many surgical procedures, full blinding is often, alas, impossible. The seriousness of the potential bias will then depend on the circumstances. For example, blinding patients to the treatment they receive in a controlled trial matters less when the outcome measures are objectively observable events, like death, rather than subjective, like the relief of pain. Even in surgery, patient blinding is possible. For example, in a trial of surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee the controls underwent a sham procedure, having a small slit cut in the side of the knee that was then sewn up again.
  • synonymMasking


  • adjective excellent, outstanding, astonishing. This old term of approbation from the language of middle-aged Londoners was adopted as a vogue term by adolescents in the 1990s, sometimes in the form of an exclamation. (The colloquial blinder, meaning a dazzling feat, has been popular since the 1970s.).