1 of 2


: a jointed or flexible device on which a door, lid, or other swinging part turns
: a flexible ligamentous joint
: a small piece of thin gummed paper used in fastening a postage stamp in an album
: a determining factor : turning point

Illustration of hinge

Illustration of hinge
  • hinge 1a


2 of 2


hinged; hinging

intransitive verb

: to swing on or as if on a hinge
These thoughtful amenities include … an outdoor patio TV that hinges outward toward the pool …Paul Takahashi
… we pulled within feet of a 12-foot crocodile, his huge jaw hinging open in warning to reveal a toothy grin.Andrea Bartz
: to be contingent on a single consideration or point
used with on or upon
the prosecution's case hinges on the DNA evidence

transitive verb

: to attach by or furnish with hinges

Examples of hinge in a Sentence

Verb the outcome of the game hinged on a single play
Recent Examples on the Web
Now without any effort on her part, the door had come loose on its hinges. Lynn Steger Strong, The New Republic, 15 Sep. 2023 World Athletics, the sport’s global governing body, and USA Track & Field, which oversees everything from coaching and officials’ certifications to competitions at the youth to masters levels, believe its future hinges in part on finding the answer. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, 15 Sep. 2023 While the first installment focused on the nuptials of Nia and Ian, and the second on a re-wedding for Toula’s parents, Maria (Lainie Kazan) and Gus (Michael Constantine), the third hinges upon a reunion to be held in the village where the now late Gus was raised. Vulture, 12 Sep. 2023 Push choppers use a plunging mechanism or a hinge to push a blade onto vegetables to sever them. Good Housekeeping, 31 Aug. 2023 Remove the middle screw in the hinge and drive in the 3-inch screw with a drill until the head of the screw is snug against the hinge. Timothy Dale, Better Homes & Gardens, 27 July 2023 There’s a new hinge design that closes totally flat, a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset tuned for Samsung, and 256GB of storage in the base model. Allison Johnson, The Verge, 26 July 2023 Footage from inside the jail, taken earlier this year by Atlanta TV station WAGA, showed flooding, detainees sleeping in hallways, doors off their hinges and disintegrating walls. Devon M. Sayers, CNN, 31 Aug. 2023 Fight Bathroom Odors Start with the toilet and use a combo cleaner-disinfectant to wipe around the seat, lid, and hinges. Christina Poletto, Better Homes & Gardens, 30 Aug. 2023
The lid hinges back a little more than 90º and, when closed, has a tight seal to it. Quincy Bulin, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 July 2023 Hold the grip, push your butt back, and hinge at the waist. Brett Williams, Men's Health, 30 June 2023 Keep spine straight and hinge forward to feel a stretch in glute and hip. Andi Breitowich, Women's Health, 16 Aug. 2023 Topline growth is a constant refrain among rail leaders, and multiple railroads have announced that executive compensation will hinge more on safety, service, and growth, and less on efficiency. Ian Jefferies, Fortune, 15 June 2023 Sitting in fourth place with only the long jump event remaining at Saturday’s Division 1 state championship, Lexington boys’ chances of winning hinged entirely on freshman Amari Mow delivering a first-place finish. Matty Wasserman, BostonGlobe.com, 27 May 2023 Where many agree, however, is that a superintendent’s survival these days in a community such as Marblehead hinges as much on the social and political milieu of the districtas on competence and leadership skills. Deanna Pan, BostonGlobe.com, 26 Aug. 2023 Easily removable gutter guards like the brush, foam, snap-in, or hinged flip-up types do make gutter cleaning easier than screw-in guards. Kat De Naoum, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 Aug. 2023 On that issue, hopes appear to hinge largely on global efforts underway to stabilize temperatures by curbing emissions of heat-trapping gasses in the atmosphere. Jason Thomson, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hinge.' 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 heng; akin to Middle Dutch henge hook, Old English hangian to hang

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1719, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near hinge

Cite this Entry

“Hinge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hinge. Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a jointed piece on which a door, lid, or other swinging part turns
: the joint between valves of a bivalve's shell


2 of 2 verb
hinged; hinging
: to attach by or provide with hinges
: to hang or turn as if on a hinge : depend
our success hinges on this decision

More from Merriam-Webster on hinge

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!