hint

noun
\ ˈhint \

Definition of hint 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 archaic : opportunity, turn

2a : 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

hint

verb
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

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Other words from hint

Verb

hinter noun

Choose the Right Synonym for hint

Verb

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

There are hints of David Lynch's macabre absurdism here, but also some agreeably carnivalesque interludes reminiscent of Federico Fellini, Emir Kusturica and even Wes Anderson. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Volcano': Film Review | Karlovy Vary 2018," 13 July 2018 Although baby Kulture’s name is definitely unique, there are hints of her father peppered throughout. PEOPLE.com, "Kulture Kiari: The Personal Meaning Behind Cardi B and Offset's Newborn Daughter's Name," 12 July 2018 Walk the row of 40 cars, and there is no hint why some are so much faster than others of the same brand. OrlandoSentinel.com, "Small NASCAR racing margins often come from big bucks," 8 July 2018 Snapchat Neither picture gives a great look at Stormi's face, of course, which might be a hint that Kylie is still hesitant to share full pictures of her daughter with the people of the internet. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kylie Jenner Broke Her Own Ban on Posting Pictures of Stormi," 1 July 2018 There is no hint of when exactly confirmation of the transfer will go through, but the report states that the details are very closer to being sorted. SI.com, "Spanish Report Claims Southampton Are Close to Finalising Deal for Barcelona Defender Marlon," 30 June 2018 Long before 2016, however, there were hints that people had become infected with the virus. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Mosquito-Borne Keystone Virus Has Been Found in Humans for the First Time," 26 June 2018 Flanagan said there's been no hint of that with Burnes, who's always been considered to be a positive teammate and tough competitor. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Brewers pitching prospect Corbin Burnes rolls with the punches," 26 June 2018 There haven’t really been any hints as to what the 25th anniversary logo will look like, but there is a past reference point. Mike Persak, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Panthers to unveil 25th anniversary logo at Fort Lauderdale happy hour event," 12 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While there’s been no official confirmation from the beaus themselves, Justin’s father Jeremy seems to have hinted on Instagram that the rumors are definitely tru-mours. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "The Engagement Ring Justin Bieber Gave Hailey Baldwin Is Extremely Large," 9 July 2018 Following his lifting of the Champions League trophy at the end of last season, Ronaldo seemed to hint that his time at the Bernabeu was up. SI.com, "Cristiano Ronaldo's Agent Chimes in on Speculation Star Will Leave Real Madrid," 5 July 2018 One issue is clearly not money: Paramount Network has every actor imaginable in this series — familiar faces like Huston and Hennessy and Wendy Moniz, all getting a smattering of lines that hint their characters might be developed later. Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Yellowstone': TV Review," 18 June 2018 The first verse then seems to hint at her jealous side coming out as well as infidelity -- or worries over infidelity -- between her and her partner. Jeff Benjamin, Billboard, "Christina Aguilera's 10 Most Revealing Lyrics From 'Liberation'," 15 June 2018 China, which bristles at anything that even hints at diplomatic recognition of Taiwan, had warned America not to send a senior official. The Economist, "Politics this week," 14 June 2018 Cain had a few standout days during workouts recently, flashing the sort of potential that hints bigger things could be in store. Zak Keefer, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Colts rookies Nyheim Hines, Deon Cain could be the real deal," 14 June 2018 Two of the quakes to date at Leilani are of magnitudes large enough to hint at a possibility of ground-breaking that is greater than that seen so far in the area. Wendell Duffield, Scientific American, "How Kilauea’s Lava Invades Neighborhoods," 8 May 2018 Oregon, known for teasing commitments, used its official recruiting account, @OregonGridiron, to hint at possible big news looming: The account also quickly retweeted Carter's announcement of impending big news. Andrew Nemec, OregonLive.com, "Oregon recruiting: Will Ducks soon add another big-time commitment?," 23 Apr. 2018

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

Noun

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1648, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for hint

Noun

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

Verb

see hint entry 1

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Statistics for hint

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hint

The first known use of hint was in 1604

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More Definitions for hint

hint

noun

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

hint

verb

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

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

hint

noun
\ ˈhint \

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.

hint

verb
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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Comments on hint

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