verb (used with object)
  1. to pierce with a rapier or the like; stab.
  2. to finish at the edge with a scalloped, notched, or other ornamental pattern.
  3. to punch (cloth, leather, etc.) with small holes or figures for ornament.
  4. Chiefly British Dialect. to adorn or ornament, especially with scalloped edges or a punched-out pattern.

Origin of pink

1275–1325; Middle English pynken to prick, derivative of Old English pinca point, itself derivative of pinn pin Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pinked

Historical Examples of pinked

  • Who pinked—if that's the nasty word—who pinked the Dutchman in Utrecht?

    Doom Castle

    Neil Munro

  • The mat will be prettier if the felt or cloth be scalloped or 'pinked.'

  • Why, he only pinked the deer in the neck, because I could see the mark.

  • If you promise me you will come back for next summer, I won't get pinked.

    Golden Lads

    Arthur Gleason and Helen Hayes Gleason

  • Only for a second, but in that second Lucas pinked his shoulder.

    Helmet of Navarre

    Bertha Runkle

British Dictionary definitions for pinked


  1. any of a group of colours with a reddish hue that are of low to moderate saturation and can usually reflect or transmit a large amount of light; a pale reddish tint
  2. pink cloth or clothingdressed in pink
  3. any of various Old World plants of the caryophyllaceous genus Dianthus, such as D. plumarius (garden pink), cultivated for their fragrant flowersSee also carnation (def. 1)
  4. any of various plants of other genera, such as the moss pink
  5. the flower of any of these plants
  6. the highest or best degree, condition, etc (esp in the phrases in the pink of health, in the pink)
    1. a huntsman's scarlet coat
    2. a huntsman who wears a scarlet coat
  1. of the colour pink
  2. British informal left-wing
  3. US derogatory
    1. sympathetic to or influenced by Communism
    2. leftist or radical, esp half-heartedly
  4. informal of or relating to homosexuals or homosexualitythe pink vote
  5. (of a huntsman's coat) scarlet or red
  1. (intr) another word for knock (def. 7)
Derived Formspinkish, adjectivepinkness, nounpinky, adjective

Word Origin for pink

C16 (the flower), C18 (the colour): perhaps a shortening of pinkeye


verb (tr)
  1. to prick lightly with a sword or rapier
  2. to decorate (leather, cloth, etc) with a perforated or punched pattern
  3. to cut with pinking shears

Word Origin for pink

C14: perhaps of Low German origin; compare Low German pinken to peck


  1. a sailing vessel with a narrow overhanging transom

Word Origin for pink

C15: from Middle Dutch pinke, of obscure origin
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 pinked


n., adj.

1570s, common name of Dianthus, a garden plant of various colors, of unknown origin. Its use for "pale rose color" first recorded 1733 (pink-coloured is recorded from 1680s), from one of the colors of the flowers. The plant name is perhaps from pink (v.) via notion of "perforated" petals, or from Dutch pink "small" (see pinkie), from the term pinck oogen "half-closed eyes," literally "small eyes," which was borrowed into English (1570s) and may have been used as a name for Dianthus, which sometimes has pale red flowers.

The flower meaning led (by 1590s) to a figurative use for "the flower" or finest example of anything (e.g. Mercutio's "Nay, I am the very pinck of curtesie," Rom. & Jul. II.iv.61). Political noun sense "person perceived as left of center but not entirely radical (i.e. red)" is attested by 1927, but the image dates to at least 1837. Pink slip "discharge notice" is first recorded 1915. To see pink elephants "hallucinate from alcoholism" first recorded 1913 in Jack London's "John Barleycorn."



c.1200, pungde "pierce, stab," later (early 14c.) "make holes in; spur a horse," of uncertain origin; perhaps from a Romanic stem that also yielded French piquer, Spanish picar (see pike (n.2)). Or perhaps from Old English pyngan and directly from Latin pungere "to prick, pierce" (see pungent). Surviving mainly in pinking shears.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with pinked


see in the pink; tickled pink.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.