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clinked; clinking; clinks

intransitive verb

: to give out a slight sharp short metallic sound

transitive verb

: to cause to clink


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noun (1)

: a clinking sound


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noun (2)

slang : a prison cell
slang : jail, prison

Examples of clink in a Sentence

Verb When she'd completed the toast, they clinked glasses. coins clinking in his pocket as he traipsed down the street Noun (2) I once spent a night in the clink, and it's an experience I don't want to repeat
Recent Examples on the Web
Jones recalls, several years ago, being at the home of a Black collector who clinked his wineglass and announced to the table that he was puzzled at first when an institution asked him to host a dinner in Jones’s honor. Adam Bradley, New York Times, 10 May 2024 Such was definitely the case as the performer was joined by a bevy of major names from fashion and entertainment to clink a glass of Dom Pérignon Vintage 2013 to her latest album, Radical Optimism, and, seemingly, life in general for the unstoppable pop star. Freya Drohan, Vogue, 8 May 2024 When the Phillies played the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday, Philadelphia’s Johan Rojas clinked his fists and flapped his arms after his feet were planted on second base. Kalhan Rosenblatt, NBC News, 10 Apr. 2024 The thick chains clinked as they were wrapped around the casino's gold door handles. Rio Yamat, Quartz, 2 Apr. 2024 And so at a personal request from the vice president, Taylor reluctantly found himself amid the din of clinking cocktail glasses when Johnson stopped and asked him to come see him in a few days. Nikole Hannah-Jones, New York Times, 13 Mar. 2024 Her husband Dave McCary brought sparkling wine over and the two clinked in celebration. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, 11 Mar. 2024 The pair clinked glasses of Guinness while Shelton manned the grill, according to Stefani’s Instagram Story. Sabrina Weiss, Peoplemag, 18 Mar. 2024 The cubes clink against the sides and slowly melt around me, bringing my body temperature back to bearable. Katie Lockhart, Vogue, 12 Mar. 2024
To me, the tinkling glasses and ringing silverware are easily ignorable, the hodgepodge of clinks and clatters immediately fading into the background. Ct Jones, Rolling Stone, 4 Apr. 2024 After everyone clinks drinks, Jesse, 30, inquires about Paige’s whereabouts. Dana Rose Falcone, Peoplemag, 13 Mar. 2024 For the ever-important clink of the glasses, there’s French champagne and Anderson Valley brut as well as sparkling wine concoctions, such as a sage and honey-pear cocktail. Kate Bradshaw, The Mercury News, 12 Feb. 2024 Sitting on a stool in Café Jean-Paul on Lewis Wharf one May night in 1975, Mae Arnette gazed into the smoky darkness beyond the spotlight, where only the soft clink of a cocktail glass revealed the presence of her audience. Bryan Marquard,, 6 Aug. 2023 But near the end of the assembly line, in a nook where pencils are imprinted with their logos, the sound is no more than the soft clink of the perfect little sticks falling into a heap. Danny Freedman, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 June 2023 In its efforts to be a little more like the French Riviera, the Miami circuit made room for 10 yachts so that a very select group of high-paying fans could kick off their shoes, clink glasses, and follow the race from the comfort of a teak deck. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, 8 May 2022 Fushman: boom–clink. Daniel Duane, Outside Online, 5 Apr. 2021 Grand declarations of feelings aren’t really the show’s style, and Unstable underplays the moment with a wry recap of their misadventures together and a quick clink of glasses. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 Mar. 2023

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

Word History



Middle English, of imitative origin

Noun (2)

probably from Clink, a prison in Southwark, London, England

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1515, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of clink was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near clink

Cite this Entry

“Clink.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


: to make or cause to make a slight sharp short sound like that of metal being struck
glasses clinked
clink noun

More from Merriam-Webster on clink

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