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Does that mean pale eyes (color) or glazed eyes (energy) or sight-dimmed eyes(ability)? I have no idea. Just for your information, the wandmaker in the following citation is a very old man with pale eyes, and he is very tired.

Also, I’d like to know if the definition of “faded eyes” varies depending on the context.

The wandmaker took the first of the wands and held it close to his faded eyes, rolling it between his knobble-knuckled fingers, flexing it slightly. (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (7) [US Version p.493])

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Why the downvotes? I cannot see a better question to fit a "English Language & Usage" site. – nico Jul 4 '12 at 6:13
up vote 1 down vote accepted

He's old and going blind. It implies that his eyesight is fading, not anything about the eyes themselves.

That's my reading of it, but to know for sure you'd have to ask Ms. Rowling.

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Rowling may be referring to arcus senilis:

Arcus senilis, also known as arcus cornealis, is a gray or white arc visible above and below the outer part of the cornea — the clear, dome-like covering over the front of the eye. Eventually, the arc may become a complete ring around the cornea.

Arcus senilis is common in older adults. It's caused by fat (lipid) deposits deep in the edge of the cornea. It isn't related to high cholesterol, however. Arcus senilis doesn't affect vision, nor does it require treatment.

In very advanced cases, arcus senilis can make the majority of the iris (the colored part of the eye) turn a milky bluish-white, as if the original color had faded out.

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How kind of you to answer. This question might look ridiculous, but I’m pretty interested in descriptions of eye colors because people in my country don’t have so many color variations in eyes. I get the clear picture. Thanks. – user7493 Jul 6 '12 at 8:20
I didn't find it ridiculous at all. – MT_Head Jul 6 '12 at 15:58

protected by RegDwigнt Jul 4 '12 at 8:53

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