• synonyms


See more synonyms for ink on Thesaurus.com
  1. a fluid or viscous substance used for writing or printing.
  2. a dark, protective fluid ejected by the cuttlefish and other cephalopods.
  3. Informal. publicity, especially in print media: Their construction plans got some ink in the local paper.
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. to mark, stain, cover, or smear with ink: to ink one's clothes.
  2. Slang. to sign one's name to (an official document): We expect to ink the contract tomorrow.
Show More

Origin of ink

1200–50; Middle English inke, enke < Old French enque < Late Latin encautum, variant of encaustum < Greek énkauston purple ink, noun use of neuter of énkaustos burnt in. See encaustic
Related formsink·er, nounink·less, adjectiveink·like, adjectivere·ink, verb (used with object)un·inked, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for inking

Historical Examples

  • For a print, from the mode of inking, has a breadth and unity which the drawing never can have.

    Albert Durer

    T. Sturge Moore

  • There is, too, a difference in the manner of inking the type.

  • The top is heated by gas and on it the printer puts his plate while inking and wiping it.

  • The inking in is done in the order of the letters a, b, c, etc.

  • After the inking a considerable portion of dampness remains.

British Dictionary definitions for inking


  1. a fluid or paste used for printing, writing, and drawing
  2. a dark brown fluid ejected into the water for self-concealment by an octopus or related mollusc from a gland (ink sac) near the anus
Show More
verb (tr)
  1. to mark with ink
  2. to coat (a printing surface) with ink
Show More
See also ink in, ink up
Derived Formsinker, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old French enque, from Late Latin encaustum a purplish-red ink, from Greek enkauston purple ink, from enkaustos burnt in, from enkaiein to burn in; see en- ², caustic
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 inking



"to mark or stain in ink," 1560s, from ink (n.). Meaning "to cover (a printing plate, etc.) with ink" is from 1727. Related: Inked; inking.

Show More



"the black liquor with which men write" [Johnson], mid-13c., from Old French enque "dark writing fluid" (11c.), from Late Latin encaustum, from Greek enkauston "purple or red ink," used by the Roman emperors to sign documents, originally a neuter adjective form of enkaustos "burned in," from stem of enkaiein "to burn in," from en- "in" + kaiein "to burn" (see caustic). The word is from a Greek method of applying colored wax and fixing it with heat. The Old English word for it was simply blæc, literally "black." Ink-blot test attested from 1928.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

inking in Science


  1. A dark liquid ejected for protection by most cephalopods, including the octopus and squid. Ink consists of highly concentrated melanin.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.