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 kinking

Historical Examples of kinking

  • Coiling the rope, he tried to throw it again into the crevice; but it had lost the knack of kinking.

  • There is where his laugh comes off, curling and kinking in little spasms of pure pig joy!

    The Fall of the Year

    Dallas Lore Sharp

  • In this way you are working with the twist of the thread and there is less danger of knotting and kinking.

    Handicraft for Girls

    Idabelle McGlauflin

  • The wire persisted in getting twisted and they had all they could do to keep it from kinking.

  • Shag was throwing clouds of dust over his lowered head, and kinking his tufted tail in battle anger.

    The Outcasts

    W. A. Fraser

British Dictionary definitions for kinking



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 kinking



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

Medicine definitions for kinking




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.