\ 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 Our recipe for an old-school quiche Lorraine features bacon and Gruyère with a hint of cayenne and chives for garnish. Saveur, "Savory Tarts," 15 May 2020 The result is a positively glowing look with a hint of natural-looking polish. Marci Robin, Allure, "Rihanna's New "Summer Fenty Face" Tutorial Introduces the Cheeks Out Collection," 28 Apr. 2020 Read: unmade beds, piles of laundry, or the ubiquitous beige blank wall with the hint of a houseplant in the background. Country Living, "Look! We Made Pretty Country Backgrounds for Your Zoom Calls," 27 Apr. 2020 While major banks were heavily fortified after the crisis in 2008, markets from junk bonds to some types of mortgages have shown signs of buckling as investors flee anything with a hint of risk. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "The economic impact of coronavirus in five charts," 29 Mar. 2020 So, forget about exiting corners with any hint of aggression. David Beard, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve Wants Us To Grow Up," 18 Mar. 2020 Even today, journalists interview her without a hint of journalistic skepticism. David Harsanyi, National Review, "Joe Biden Owes Clarence Thomas an Apology," 9 Mar. 2020 Inside, the space is narrow and long with a hint of farm charm with old photos of Blake’s family members and the farmhouse on walls. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Cider doughnuts, cupcakes join together at Birmingham's Bakehouse46," 25 Feb. 2020 The coronavirus has killed more than 1,100 people, brought a huge swath of central China to a standstill and rattled millions around the globe with hints of a pandemic seen in Hollywood fantasies. Lenny Bernstein, Anchorage Daily News, "Most coronavirus cases are mild, complicating the response," 13 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This hints at a predicament that might apply to other offices: The people most qualified to run for an office might have to risk upsetting professional relationships to seek the post. Andrew Oxford, azcentral, "Across most of Arizona, voters will have only one choice for local races on the ballot," 1 June 2020 Zeitlin also hinted that the company would consider shrinking its store base over time by not renewing some leases and perhaps closing some stores. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "COVID-19 is forcing Coach and Kate Spade to pick up the e-commerce pace," 14 May 2020 On Friday Trump hinted at an upcoming announcement about WHO funding. Ben Evansky, Fox News, "US spars with China over pro-WHO language in UN Security Council ceasefire resolution," 10 May 2020 The governor hinted that restaurants may soon be able to return re-open for table services with some safety measures, but people will need to continue to shelter at home in the meantime before any changes come to fruition. Tim O'donnell, TheWeek, "10 things you need to know today: May 2, 2020," 2 May 2020 Vos hinted Tuesday that Wisconsin might replicate the voting process with upcoming elections if the outbreak continues. Devi Shastri, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "In-person voting was likely a 'disaster' for Wisconsin's efforts to flatten coronavirus curve, national experts say," 8 Apr. 2020 President Donald Trump hinted at a second round of stimulus checks on Monday, hours after the U.S. coronavirus death toll topped 10,000 – more than six American wars combined, USA TODAY reported. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Coronavirus in Ohio, Kentucky: Stay at home order, Kroger, stimulus," 7 Apr. 2020 Despite the wide range of COVID-19 symptoms, the emerging understanding of the infection hints at a set of common underlying factors that may be at work. Diana Kwon, Scientific American, "From Headaches to ‘COVID Toes,’ Coronavirus Symptoms Are a Bizarre Mix," 18 May 2020 Betty’s brash attitude could easily have come off as grating, but Ullman does a wonderful job of delivering her salty one-liners in a way that hints at the heavy emotion underneath. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "Mrs America Episode 4 Recap: What Really Happened During That Phyllis Schlafly, Betty Friedan Debate," 22 Apr. 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

3 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hint.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hint. Accessed 4 Jun. 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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