[ ingk-ling ]
/ ˈɪŋk lɪŋ /


a slight suggestion or indication; hint; intimation: They hadn't given us an inkling of what was going to happen.
a vague idea or notion; slight understanding: They didn't have an inkling of how the new invention worked.

Nearby words

  1. inkerman,
  2. inkhorn,
  3. inkhorn term,
  4. inkle,
  5. inkle loom,
  6. inkpot,
  7. inkstand,
  8. inkster,
  9. inkstone,
  10. inkwell

Origin of inkling

1505–15; obsolete inkle to hint (Middle English inklen) + -ing1; akin to Old English inca suspicion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inkling

British Dictionary definitions for inkling


/ (ˈɪŋklɪŋ) /


a slight intimation or suggestion; suspicion

Word Origin for inkling

C14: probably from inclen to hint at; related to Old English inca

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 inkling



c.1400, apparently from the gerund of Middle English verb inclen "utter in an undertone, hint at, hint" (mid-14c.), which is of unknown origin; perhaps related to Old English inca "doubt, suspicion."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper