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wink1

[wingk]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to close and open one or both eyes quickly.
  2. to close and open one eye quickly as a hint or signal or with some sly meaning (often followed by at): She winked at him across the room.
  3. (of the eyes) to close and open thus; blink.
  4. to shine with little flashes of light; twinkle: The city lights winked in the distance.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to close and open (one or both eyes) quickly; execute or give (a wink).
  2. to drive or force by winking (usually followed by back or away): She attempted to wink back the tears.
  3. to signal or convey by a wink.
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noun
  1. an act of winking.
  2. a winking movement, especially of one eye in giving a hint or signal.
  3. a hint or signal given by winking.
  4. the time required for winking once; an instant or twinkling: I'll be there in a wink.
  5. a little flash of light; twinkle.
  6. the least bit: I didn't sleep a wink last night.
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Verb Phrases
  1. wink at, to ignore deliberately, as to avoid the necessity of taking action: to wink at minor offenses.
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Origin of wink1

before 900; (v.) Middle English winken, Old English wincian; cognate with German winken to wave, signal; (noun) Middle English: nap, derivative of the v.
Related formswink·ing·ly, adverbun·wink·ing, adjective

Synonyms

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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. 4. sparkle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

warnrepresentsuggestspellportendimplymanifestconveybespeaksymbolizeproclaimglistentwinkleglintflickershimmerwinkglimmergleamscintillate

Examples from the Web for winking

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "Yes," assented, Stoliker, winking quietly at the professor.

  • At which he fell a winking, and the whole company burst into a laugh.

    Joseph Andrews Vol. 1

    Henry Fielding

  • They remained behind, winking at each other, and waiting still for Charles.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • Mr. Stryver was lying back on his sofa, winking at his ceiling.

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens

  • Boche and Bibi-the-Smoker snickered at the nudes, pointing them out to each other and winking.

    L'Assommoir

    Emile Zola


British Dictionary definitions for winking

wink1

verb
  1. (intr) to close and open one eye quickly, deliberately, or in an exaggerated fashion to convey friendliness, etc
  2. to close and open (an eye or the eyes) momentarily
  3. (tr; foll by away, back, etc) to force away (tears, etc) by winking
  4. (tr) to signal with a wink
  5. (intr) (of a light) to gleam or flash intermittently
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noun
  1. a winking movement, esp one conveying a signal, etc, or such a signal
  2. an interrupted flashing of light
  3. a brief moment of time; instant
  4. informal the smallest amount, esp of sleepSee also forty winks
  5. tip the wink British informal to give a hint
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Word Origin

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

wink2

noun
  1. a disc used in the game of tiddlywinks
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Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for winking

wink

v.

Old English wincian "to nod, wink," from Proto-Germanic *wenkanan (cf. Dutch wenken, Old High German winkan, German winken), a gradational variant of the root of Old High German wankon "to stagger, totter," Old Norse vakka "to stray, hover," from PIE *weng- "to bend, curve." The meaning "close an eye as a hint or signal" is first recorded c.1100; that of "close one's eyes to fault or irregularity" first attested late 15c. Related: Winked; winking.

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wink

n.

c.1300, from wink (v.); meaning "very brief moment of time" is attested from 1580s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

winking in Medicine

wink

(wĭngk)
v.
  1. To close and open the eyelid of one eye deliberately, as to convey a message, signal, or suggestion.
  2. To close and open the eyelids of both eyes; blink.
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n.
  1. A quick closing and opening of the eyelids; a blink.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with winking

wink

In addition to the idiom beginning with wink

  • wink at

also see:

  • forty winks
  • quick as a wink
  • sleep a wink
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.