1

hint

noun \ ˈhint \
Updated on: 9 Dec 2017

Definition of hint

1 archaic : opportunity, turn
2 a : a statement that expresses indirectly what one prefers not to say explicitly
  • had been dropping hints that he would like to be invited
b : an indirect or general suggestion for how to do or solve something
  • helpful hints for inexperienced cooks
  • can't tell you the answer but can give you a hint
3 : a slight indication of the existence, approach, or nature of something : clue
  • gave only a hint of what was to come
4 : a very small amount : suggestion
  • with just a hint of spice

Examples of hint in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of hint from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of hint

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


2

hint

verb

Definition of hint

transitive verb
: to convey indirectly and by allusion rather than explicitly
  • a suspicion that she scarcely dared to hint
intransitive verb
: to give an indirect suggestion or piece of evidence that leads one toward the solution of a problem : to give a hint usually used with at
  • hint at the answer

hinter

noun

Examples of hint in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of hint from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of hint

see 1hint

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


HINT Defined for English Language Learners

hint

noun

Definition of hint for English Language Learners

  • : 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


hint

verb

Definition of hint for English Language Learners

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


HINT Defined for Kids

1

hint

noun \ ˈhint \

Definition of hint for Students

1 : information that helps a person guess an answer or do something more easily
2 : a small amount : trace
  • There's a hint of spring in the air.

2

hint

verb

Definition of hint for Students

hinted; hinting
: to suggest something without plainly asking or saying it
  • I hinted that I need help.


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