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noun \ˈhint\

Simple Definition of hint

  • : a small piece of information that helps you guess an answer or do something more easily

  • : information about something given in an indirect way; especially : a statement that suggests something that you do not want to say in a direct way

  • : a very small amount of something

Full Definition of hint

  1. 1 archaic :  opportunity, turn

  2. 2 a :  a statement conveying by implication what it is preferred not to say explicitly b :  an indirect or summary suggestion <helpful hints>

  3. 3 :  a slight indication of the existence, approach, or nature of something :  clue

  4. 4 :  a very small amount :  suggestion <with just a hint of spice>

Examples of hint

  1. Her face gave me a hint of what she was thinking.

  2. I have a lot of work to do. OK, I'll leave. I can take a hint.

  3. The sauce has a subtle hint of garlic.

  4. He had a hint of a German accent.

  5. They'll betray you at the first hint of trouble.

Origin of hint

probably alteration of obsolete hent act of seizing, from hent, verb

First Known Use: 1604




Simple Definition of hint

  • : to say (something) or give information about (something) in an indirect way

Full Definition of hint

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to convey indirectly and by allusion rather than explicitly <a suspicion that she scarcely dared to hint>

  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  to give a hint —usually used with at <hint at the answer>

hint·er noun

Examples of hint

  1. I keep hinting, but she's not catching on. I think I need to be more direct.

  2. The boss hinted about possible layoffs.


First Known Use of hint


Synonym Discussion of hint

suggest, imply, hint, intimate, insinuate mean to convey an idea indirectly. suggest may stress putting into the mind by association of ideas, awakening of a desire, or initiating a train of thought <a film title that suggests its subject matter>. imply is close to suggest but may indicate a more definite or logical relation of the unexpressed idea to the expressed <measures implying that bankruptcy was imminent>. hint implies the use of slight or remote suggestion with a minimum of overt statement <hinted that she might get the job>. intimate stresses delicacy of suggestion without connoting any lack of candor <intimates that there is more to the situation than meets the eye>. insinuate applies to the conveying of a usually unpleasant idea in a sly underhanded manner <insinuated that there were shady dealings>.

Seen and Heard

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February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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