1 of 5

noun (1)

: a small cleft, slit, or fissure
a chink in the fence
: a weak spot that may leave one vulnerable
his lawyers found a chink in the law
: a narrow beam of light shining through a chink


2 of 5

verb (1)

chinked; chinking; chinks

transitive verb

: to fill the chinks of (as by caulking)
chink a log cabin


3 of 5

noun (2)

archaic : coin, money
: a short sharp sound


4 of 5

verb (2)

chinked; chinking; chinks

intransitive verb

: to make a slight sharp metallic sound

transitive verb

: to cause to make a chink
used as an insulting and contemptuous term for a person of Chinese birth or descent

Examples of chink in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
This kind of heat wave is bringing up all the chinks in the infrastructure. David Pogue, CBS News, 6 Aug. 2023 Mitch McConnell 28 seconds later Mitch McConnell is known as the unflinching conservative leader of the Senate who rarely shows a chink in the armor when jousting with political foes. Phillip M. Bailey, USA TODAY, 29 July 2023 Wynonna may come off as the ultimate super trouper, but the documentary reveals chinks in that armor along the way, or at least moments where the singer plainly owns up to not yet having come to terms with her mother’s death. Chris Willman, Variety, 29 Apr. 2023 Langham’s Blissful Beds, produced by Swedish mattress masters Duxiana, combined with solid soundproofing and electronic blinds that black out every chink of light guarantee a good night’s sleep. Lee Cobaj, Robb Report, 29 May 2023 Did some climate scientists get a chink in their reputations after the batch of East Anglia emails were released? Keith Kloor, Discover Magazine, 24 Feb. 2011 Trying to counter the one-two punch of the alewife and lamprey invasions, Great Lakes biologists seized on a chink in the lamprey life cycle: The parasites don't reproduce in open waters but spawn in a relatively small number of rivers that feed the lakes. Dan Egan,, 2 Sep. 2021 Retail is the chink in Google’s armor. Sergii Denysenko, Forbes, 7 May 2021 Although scientists don’t know how to best combat Verroa mites, studies like this one give scientists a deeper understanding of their tactics, which could someday reveal a chink in their armor. Carl Engelking, Discover Magazine, 5 June 2015 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chink.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

probably alteration of Middle English chine crack, fissure

Noun (2)


Noun or adjective

perhaps alteration of Chinese

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

1609, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1573, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1589, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun Or Adjective

1887, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of chink was in 1535

Dictionary Entries Near chink

Cite this Entry

“Chink.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 4 noun
: a narrow slit or crack


2 of 4 verb
: to fill the chinks of
chinked a log hut with mud


3 of 4 noun
: a short sharp sound


4 of 4 verb
: to make or cause to make a short sharp sound
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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