adjective, pink·er, pink·est.


    tickled pink. tickle(def 10).

Origin of pink

First recorded in 1565–75; origin uncertain
Related formspink·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pinker

Contemporary Examples of pinker

Historical Examples of pinker

  • Here Jeffrey looked at Anne and found her pinker than she had been.

    The Prisoner

    Alice Brown

  • Sarah's frock was not pinker than her face when she got to the dining-room.

  • I have chosen, with a deep sense of responsibility, the name of Pinker.

    The Napoleon of Notting Hill

    Gilbert K. Chesterton

  • His skin is pinker than hers, and his brows and lashes are fairer.

  • The skin was like a rose, a fainter, pinker rose than Dorcas had ever seen.

British Dictionary definitions for pinker




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
pink cloth or clothingdressed in pink
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)
any of various plants of other genera, such as the moss pink
the flower of any of these plants
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


of the colour pink
British informal left-wing
US derogatory
  1. sympathetic to or influenced by Communism
  2. leftist or radical, esp half-heartedly
informal of or relating to homosexuals or homosexualitythe pink vote
(of a huntsman's coat) scarlet or red


(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)

to prick lightly with a sword or rapier
to decorate (leather, cloth, etc) with a perforated or punched pattern
to cut with pinking shears

Word Origin for pink

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




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 pinker


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 pinker


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.