\ ˈhint How to pronounce hint (audio) \

Definition of hint

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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
2 : a slight indication of the existence, approach, or nature of something : clue gave only a hint of what was to come
3 : a very small amount : suggestion with just a hint of spice
4 archaic : opportunity, turn


hinted; hinting; hints

Definition of hint (Entry 2 of 2)

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 athint at the answer

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Other Words from hint


hinter noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of hint in a Sentence

Noun Her face gave me a hint of what she was thinking. “I have a lot of work to do.” “OK, I'll leave. I can take a hint.” The sauce has a subtle hint of garlic. He had a hint of a German accent. They'll betray you at the first hint of trouble. Verb I keep hinting, but she's not catching on. I think I need to be more direct. The boss hinted about possible layoffs.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Additional hints that the restaurant is firmly planted in Disney World can be found on the restaurant’s robust kids’ menu. Regan Stephens, Fortune, "The best restaurant at Orlando’s Walt Disney World isn’t inside the park," 23 Feb. 2020 An earlier hint that Xi’s China was falling into authoritarian blindness came during the ongoing Hong Kong protests. Zeynep Tufekci, The Atlantic, "How the Coronavirus Revealed Authoritarianism’s Fatal Flaw," 22 Feb. 2020 Magali carries a confidence belying her tiny stature, and her story, captured in an intricate tattoo on her right shoulder, hints at why. John Briley, Washington Post, "Diving into the tranquility of Tahiti," 21 Feb. 2020 Today, Jeffree released his new Bloodlust eyeshadow palette (velvet packaging, neons, hints of holo, etc.) and Nikkie did a review of her own. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Jeffree Star and NikkieTutorisls Seem to Be Mending Their Friendship," 21 Feb. 2020 With barely a hint of kimchi flavor, cravings for Korean-style soups are probably best saved for a trip to Hodori, just a few miles down the road. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "Hot pot is having a moment, and this new Mesa restaurant may be the best in town," 17 Feb. 2020 Around the time of Dr. Sievers murder, the internet was buzzing with reports about the suspicious deaths of other alternative doctors in the U.S. Erin Moriarty: Did Mark hint that her death might be connected with that? Erin Moriarty, CBS News, "Did a Florida man hire a look-alike to kill his wife?," 15 Feb. 2020 Prior to the cabin’s discovery, locals had stumbled upon hints that the bar, which has been shuttered for about 12 years, contained precious relics of the area’s past. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, "18th-Century Log Cabin Discovered Beneath Condemned Pennsylvania Bar," 14 Feb. 2020 The exact way upside-down jellyfish benefit from their lethal mucus has yet to be described by scientists, but Ames says their lab has seen hints. Cheryl Ames, National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 13 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Plenty of previous studies have hinted at the braininess of bees. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Like Humans, Bumblebees May Create Mental Images in Their Brains," 21 Feb. 2020 Wade and Union had previously hinted at Zaya’s gender identity, posting a photo at Thanksgiving in which the child sported long, painted fingernails. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Dwyane Wade changes lives with support of transgender daughter," 12 Feb. 2020 Still, Centineo has hinted before that his life hasn't always been all Instagram thirst traps and starring roles. Elizabeth Gulino, refinery29.com, "Noah Centineo On Drugs & Sobriety: “It Was A Really Dark Time In My Life”," 11 Feb. 2020 Maserati has hinted at its electric future for some time now. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, "Maserati's Next GranTurismo Will Be Electric," 23 Jan. 2020 Fuller House season 5 may have hinted at a dark fate for Michelle Tanner, according to Screen Rant. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "This SUPER Dark 'Fuller House' Theory About Michelle Tanner Has the Internet Going Mad," 22 Dec. 2019 Also, showrunner Liz Tigelaar has hinted that the show will focus more into Elena's daughter Izzy's sexuality than the books did, according to Variety. Bianca Rodriguez, Marie Claire, "Hulu's 'Little Fires Everywhere' Is Going to Be Your Next Favorite Drama," 5 Feb. 2020 Eisler's comments during our interview hinted to a server capacity in the vicinity of 600,000 to 700,000 simultaneous users across 20 server farms across the globe. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "RIP Stadia? Nvidia’s newly launched cloud-gaming service is (mostly) a stunner," 4 Feb. 2020 Further cost cuts at Nissan are likely on the way, executives have hinted. Sean Mclain, WSJ, "Nissan, Renault Seek to End Infighting With New Division of Labor," 30 Jan. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of hint


1604, in the meaning defined at sense 4


1648, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for hint

Noun and Verb

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

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Learn More about hint

Statistics for hint

Last Updated

26 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hint.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hint. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for hint


How to pronounce hint (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hint

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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



English Language Learners Definition of hint (Entry 2 of 2)

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


\ ˈhint How to pronounce hint (audio) \

Kids Definition of hint

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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.


hinted; hinting

Kids Definition of hint (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on hint

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hint

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hint

Spanish Central: Translation of hint

Nglish: Translation of hint for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hint for Arabic Speakers

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