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Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of wink

First recorded before 900; Middle English verb winken, Old English wincian; cognate with German winken “to wave, signal”; the noun is derivative of the verb

synonym study for wink

1. Wink, blink refer to rapid motions of the eyelid. To wink is to close and open either one or both eyelids with a rapid motion. To blink suggests a sleepy, dazed, or dazzled condition in which it is difficult to focus the eyes or see clearly: Bright sun makes one blink.


wink·ing·ly, adverbun·wink·ing, adjective

Other definitions for wink (2 of 2)

[ wingk ]
/ wɪŋk /

noun Games.
a disk or similar small object used in tiddlywinks.

Origin of wink

First recorded in 1890–95; extracted from tiddlywinks
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does wink mean?

To wink is to close and reopen one or both eyes quickly, often as a subtle signal or hint to someone.

To wink is also to shine with little flashes of light (to twinkle), as in Naomi gazed up at the winking stars and sighed.

To wink can also mean to blink, but often it is reserved for the blinking of one eye.

A wink is the act of winking.

A wink is also the time it takes to wink. This is often used figuratively rather than literally, as in This year went by in a wink!

A wink can also mean the least bit, as in I didn’t get a wink of sleep last night. Because a wink is normally quick, the example sentence implies you didn’t get the smallest bit of sleep.

Example: She winked at me from the other room, signalling that it’s time to leave.

Where does wink come from?

The first records of the term wink come from before the 900s. It ultimately comes from the Old English wincian.

Often in pop culture, and occasionally in real life, a wink is used to flirt with someone and let them know you like them romantically. In contrast, the phrase wink at means to purposely ignore or close your eyes at something, as in In the movie, the police chief winked at the mob’s activities.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to wink?

What are some synonyms for wink?

What are some words that share a root or word element with wink

What are some words that often get used in discussing wink?

How is wink used in real life?

Wink is commonly used to refer to quickly closing and reopening one or both eyes on purpose.



Try using wink!

Which of the following is NOT a synonym for wink?

A. gleam
B. glimmer
C. dullness
D. twinkle

How to use wink in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for wink (1 of 2)

/ (wɪŋk) /


Word Origin for wink

Old English wincian; related to Old Saxon wincon, Old High German winchan, German winken to wave. See wench, winch

British Dictionary definitions for wink (2 of 2)

/ (wɪŋk) /

a disc used in the game of tiddlywinks

Word Origin for wink

C20: shortened from tiddlywinks
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with wink


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