1

fink

noun \ ˈfiŋk \
|Updated on: 14 Aug 2018

Definition of fink

1 : one who is disapproved of or is held in contempt
3 : informer 2

Examples of fink in a Sentence

  1. She says her boss is a rotten fink.

  2. his own brother turned out to be the fink who ratted them out to the police

Origin and Etymology of fink

of uncertain origin
Note: The word fink is apparently first attested in a sketch by the American humorist George Ade, "'Stumpy' and Other Interesting People," first printed in the Chicago Record on March 17, 1894. It has traditionally been compared with German Fink, literally, "finch" (see finch), used in various pejorative compounds, as Dreckfink (Dreck "filth"), Mistfink (Mist "manure"), Schmierfink (Schmiere "grease"), referring to a dirty or untidy person (Mistfink, at least, is known from the end of the 15th century); or with Fink in German university slang referring to someone who did not belong to a student association (Burschenschaft). Probably of more relevance to the English word is the recording of Fink, Finke in German criminal argot (Rotwelsch) as one of many variants (also Pink, Pincke, Pünke, Bink, Bing, Fünke) with the meaning "contemptible person" (recorded by the criminologist Friedrich Avé-Lallemant in his "Wörterbuch der Gaunersprache," in vol. 4 of Das Deutsche Gaunerthum, Leipzig, 1862). These forms are clearly dependent on a Dutch, Frisian and Low German etymon meaning "little finger" (see 2pinkie), extended to mean "penis" (a sense recorded for East Frisian pink, and a meaning of both Fink and Pink in Low German according to Avé-Lallemant) and then "contemptible person."


2

fink

verb

Definition of fink

finked; finking; finks
: to turn informer : squeal

Examples of fink in a Sentence

  1. we never would have been caught if he hadn't finked on us

Recent Examples of fink from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fink.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of fink

derivative of 1fink



FINK Defined for English Language Learners

fink

Definition of fink for English Language Learners

  • : a person who is strongly disliked

  • : a person who gives information to the police or to some other authority about the bad behavior or criminal activity of someone else


FINK Defined for Kids

1

fink

noun \ ˈfiŋk \

Definition of fink for Students

1 : a person who is disliked
2 : a person who tattles

2

fink

verb

Definition of fink for Students

finked; finking
: to tell on : tattle


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