[ ingk-hawrn ]
/ ˈɪŋkˌhɔrn /


a small container of horn or other material, formerly used to hold writing ink.

Nearby words

  1. inkatha,
  2. inkberry,
  3. inkblot,
  4. inkblot test,
  5. inkerman,
  6. inkhorn term,
  7. inkle,
  8. inkle loom,
  9. inkling,
  10. inkpot

Origin of inkhorn

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at ink, horn Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inkhorn

British Dictionary definitions for inkhorn


/ (ˈɪŋkˌhɔːn) /


(formerly) a small portable container for ink, usually made from horn
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 inkhorn



late 14c., "small portable vessel (originally made of horn) for holding ink," from ink (n.) + horn (n.). Used attributively as an adjective for things (especially vocabulary) supposed to be beloved by scribblers and bookworms (1540s). An Old English word for the thing was blæchorn.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper