- an indirect, covert, or helpful suggestion; clue: Give me a hint as to his identity.
- a very slight or hardly noticeable amount; soupçon: a hint of garlic in the salad dressing.
- perceived indication or suggestion; note; intimation: a hint of spring in the air.
- Obsolete. an occasion or opportunity.
- to give a hint of: gray skies hinting a possible snowfall.
- to make indirect suggestion or allusion; subtly imply (usually followed by at): The article hinted at corruption in the mayor's office.
Origin of hint
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for hint
We later learned that she had left him and was hoping he would catch the hint.A Million Ways to Die in Prison
December 8, 2014
There was no sign of a struggle, and no hint of marital dispute or financial problems.Family's Best Friend Charged With Murdering Them All
November 7, 2014
Wahlberg chimes in with the hint of a smirk: “The hard days of digging ditches!”Jenny McCarthy: I Am Not Anti-Vaccine
October 24, 2014
Animals in agony or danger are used by Martin Wittfooth, often to hint at the future of the human condition.Trading Dime Bags for Salvador Dali
October 19, 2014
The woman is not looking into the camera, but there is a hint of a smile.Diane von Furstenberg: Becoming the Woman She Wanted to Be
Diane von Furstenberg
October 15, 2014
She had completed the verse with the hint of a sneer in her tones.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
Is she not for ever obliged (as she was pleased to hint to me) to be of the forbearing side?Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
Just give me a hint, to keep me from 'bursting,' so to speak!The Raid From Beausejour; And How The Carter Boys Lifted The Mortgage
Charles G. D. Roberts
She smiled, but there was a hint of grimness in the bending of her lips.
And now, once again, there was a hint of the quizzical creeping in the smile.
- a suggestion or implication given in an indirect or subtle mannerhe dropped a hint
- a helpful piece of advice or practical suggestion
- a small amount; trace
- (when intr, often foll by at; when tr, takes a clause as object) to suggest or imply indirectly
Word Origin and History for hint
c.1600, apparently from obsolete hent, from Middle English hinten "to tell, inform" (c.1400), from Old English hentan "to seize," from Proto-Germanic *hantijanan (cf. Gothic hinþan "to seize"), related to hunt (v.). Modern sense and spelling first attested in Shakespeare.
1640s, from hint (n.). Related: Hinted; hinting.
Idioms and Phrases with hint
see take a hint.