hint

[hint]
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noun

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.

verb (used with object)

to give a hint of: gray skies hinting a possible snowfall.

verb (used without object)

to make indirect suggestion or allusion; subtly imply (usually followed by at): The article hinted at corruption in the mayor's office.

Nearby words

  1. hinky,
  2. hinny,
  3. hinoki cypress,
  4. hinsdale,
  5. hinshelwood,
  6. hinterland,
  7. hinton,
  8. hioi,
  9. hip,
  10. hip bath

Origin of hint

1595–1605; (noun) orig., opportunity, occasion, apparently variant of obsolete hent grasp, act of seizing, derivative of the v.: to grasp, take, Middle English henten, Old English hentan; (v.) derivative of the noun

SYNONYMS FOR hint
1. allusion, insinuation, innuendo; memorandum, reminder; inkling. 5. imply. Hint, intimate, insinuate, suggest denote the conveying of an idea to the mind indirectly or without full or explicit statement. To hint is to convey an idea covertly or indirectly, but intelligibly: to hint that one would like a certain present; to hint that bits of gossip might be true. To intimate is to give a barely perceptible hint, often with the purpose of influencing action: to intimate that something may be possible. To insinuate is to hint artfully, often at what one would not dare to say directly: to insinuate something against someone's reputation. Suggest denotes particularly recalling something to the mind or starting a new train of thought by means of association of ideas: The name doesn't suggest anything to me.

Related formshint·er, nounun·hint·ed, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hint


British Dictionary definitions for hint

hint

noun

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

verb

(when intr, often foll by at; when tr, takes a clause as object) to suggest or imply indirectly
Derived Formshinter, nounhinting, nounhintingly, adverb

Word Origin for hint

C17: 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 hint
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hint

hint

see take a hint.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.