a twist or curl, as in a thread, rope, wire, or hair, caused by its doubling or bending upon itself.
a muscular stiffness or soreness, as in the neck or back.
a flaw or imperfection likely to hinder the successful operation of something, as a machine or plan: There are still a few kinks to be worked out of the plan before we start production.
a mental twist; notion; whim or crotchet.
  1. bizarre or unconventional sexual preferences or behavior.
  2. a person characterized by such preferences or behavior.

verb (used with or without object)

to form, or cause to form, a kink or kinks, as a rope.

Origin of kink

1670–80; < Dutch: a twist in a rope
Related formsun·kink, verb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for kink

Contemporary Examples of kink

Historical Examples of kink

  • In this way the tube will not kink or lose its shape while being wound.

    Boys' Book of Model Boats

    Raymond Francis Yates

  • She looked at Miss Avery intently, trying to understand the kink in her brain.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • There was a kink in my leader about one inch above the hook.

  • Nothing but the sword of old Xiphius gladius could have made that kink!

  • He kissed his fingers, and waved them in the direction of Kink's Hotel.

    The Dop Doctor

    Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

British Dictionary definitions for kink



a sharp twist or bend in a wire, rope, hair, etc, esp one caused when it is pulled tight
a crick in the neck or similar muscular spasm
a flaw or minor difficulty in some undertaking or project
a flaw or idiosyncrasy of personality; quirk
British informal a sexual deviation
US a clever or unusual idea


to form or cause to form a kink

Word Origin for kink

C17: from Dutch: a curl in a rope; compare Middle Low German kinke kink, Old Norse kinka to nod
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 kink

1670s, a nautical term, from Dutch kink "twist in a rope" (also found in French and Swedish), probably related to Old Norse kikna "to bend backwards, sink at the knee" (see kick). Figurative sense of "odd notion, mental twist" first recorded in American English, 1803, in writings of Thomas Jefferson. As a verb, 1690s, from the noun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

kink in Medicine




A tight curl, twist, or bend in a length of thin material.
A painful muscle spasm, as in the neck; a crick.
A mental peculiarity; a quirk.
Peculiarity or deviation in sexual behavior or taste.


To form or cause to form a kink or kinks.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.