\ 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 at hint at the answer

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But the presentation of the story online gave no hint of its satirical nature, which led to users taking it as truth. Hannah Hudnall, USA TODAY, 27 July 2022 Even though crypto companies are doing their bit to survive, there is no hint that any of them are considering abandoning ship on any of these mega-deals. Josh Wilson, Forbes, 15 July 2022 Pushed harder, throttle responses are indeed clean and lag-free, with no hint of delay even when lifting off and reapplying the gas rapidly. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 29 June 2022 There was no hint in her voice that something had already been done. Leah Sottile, Rolling Stone, 16 June 2022 The other big positive here is that previous instances where quantum computers have shown a major advantage involved them just being set to a random configuration and left to evolve to a new state—there was no hint of calculation involved. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 9 June 2022 Kennedy met privately with Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and David Souter to craft a joint opinion, with no hint to the public or even to other justices about what was going on. Mark Sherman And Jessica Gresko, Chicago Tribune, 11 May 2022 Shanghai authorities also gave no hint of any change in approach during a Thursday briefing. NBC News, 14 Apr. 2022 So many families told me that there had been no hint. Andrew Solomon, The New Yorker, 4 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Instagram story seemed to hint that Prince William is having an affair that is an open secret among British aristocrats—and caused a…um…personal hashtag to trend on Twitter for a day. Kathleen Walsh, Glamour, 29 July 2022 Austin, himself, even seemed to hint at it in his video. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, 3 Apr. 2022 But then, an eagle-eyed fan came across an enigmatic poster in New York City that seemed to hint at something even more concrete. Glenn Rowley, Billboard, 1 June 2022 That being said, Bower did hint at his possible return in season 5 during an interview with Entertainment Weekly. Kelsie Gibson, PEOPLE.com, 31 May 2022 Some clothes would hint at your interests or who you might be attracted to without having to spell it out. Vogue, 5 July 2022 Her performance at the Prefontaine Classic could hint at the direction of a season schedule that sets up favorably for her and other Americans. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, 23 May 2022 Nunez’s arrival at Old Trafford would hint at United’s desire to transition their attack into a new era. Graham Ruthven, Forbes, 30 Apr. 2022 Musk did hint that a product event next year will fill in the many missing details. Caleb Miller, Car and Driver, 21 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About hint

Dictionary Entries Near hint



hint at

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Statistics for hint

Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hint.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hint. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for hint


\ 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on hint

Nglish: Translation of hint for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hint for Arabic Speakers


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