Is there a word or phrase for being "blinded" by another car's headlights? I'm looking for a more general term ideally, that would not just apply to headlights.

"Headlight-Induced-Pupil-Miosis" just seems like overkill.

So in the interest of clarity, I'll say my word is HIPM and give a few sentences using it:

The light house beam crossed her face with such brightness that she stumbled backwards. Her hands scrabbling for the railing in the HIPM that followed.

He was torn from the dream his eyelids flashing open as if to wrench him free from it's grasp. And then clenching back closed as he was HIPM'd by the sudden sunlight.

The driver peered into the dark ahead furtively. He craned his neck to avoid the HIPM of the lights behind him in the convoy.

  • 2
    pupils react to light by the process of miosis, not dilation.
    – lbf
    Apr 16, 2018 at 13:04
  • 2
    Is there a problem with 'blinded by another car's headlights'? Apr 16, 2018 at 13:59
  • Some more context is needed here. It's not clear what register of word you're looking for. Can you provide a sample sentence?
    – Laurel
    Apr 16, 2018 at 16:44
  • @Laurel I have added some example sentences. Apr 16, 2018 at 17:20
  • 1
    Per @ibf 's comment, miosis is the clinical term. Other terms include pupil constriction and pupillary light reflex.
    – DJohnson
    Apr 16, 2018 at 17:54

3 Answers 3


You can say "to be dazzled by sth."
"a deer dazzled by the headlights"

  • Welcome to EL&U! I think this is a good suggestion. Your answer would be strengthened if you could add a sentence or two about the meaning of the word, and why it applies here. If you wanted to add a definition from a dictionary, with a citation, that's always welcome, too.
    – 1006a
    Apr 16, 2018 at 15:02

Miosis already means "excessive constriction of the pupil" (WP), so "pupil miosis" is the overkill.

To be technically accurate, you may need to include -induced, I agree. However, in general that too can be dispensed with.

In summary, I'd just call it "headlight miosis," since the phenomenon itself is quite general in nature.



The reaction that triggers miosis is called "Pupillary Light Reflex".

Though there wouldn't be a supporting convention, someone who is familiar with this term would understand if you used the phrase: "Pupillary Headlight Reflex" or similar.

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