verb (used without object)

to inform to the police; squeal.
to act as a strikebreaker; scab.

Verb Phrases

fink out,
  1. to withdraw from or refuse to support a project, activity, scheme, etc.; renege: He said he'd lend me his motorcycle, but he finked out.
  2. to become untrustworthy.

Origin of fink

1900–05, Americanism; compared with German Fink literally, finch, colloquial epithet for an undesirable person, especially an untidy or loose-living one (often in compounds, as Duckfink sycophant, Schmierfink untidy writer); but the transmission of this word to English and the range of meanings of the English word have not been clarified fully Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fink

Contemporary Examples of fink

Historical Examples of fink

British Dictionary definitions for fink



a strikebreaker; blackleg
an informer, such as one working for the police; spy
an unpleasant, disappointing, or contemptible person


(intr often foll by on) to inform (on someone), as to the police

Word Origin for fink

C20: of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for fink

1902, of uncertain origin, possibly from German Fink "a frivolous or dissolute person," originally "finch;" the German word also had a sense of "informer" (cf. stool pigeon). The other theory traces it to Pinks, short for Pinkerton agents, the private police force hired to break up the 1892 Homestead strike. As a verb, 1925 in American English slang. Related: Finked; finking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper