hint

noun
\ ˈhint How to pronounce hint (audio) \

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 have been hints of progress on a timetable for an American withdrawal and on assurances that the Taliban will not harbour terrorists. The Economist, "The Taliban negotiates with Afghan officials for the first time," 11 July 2019 There are hints that imbalances in the gut bacterial population are involved in such disorders. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Benign gut virus may be older than humanity, might be useful as therapy," 8 July 2019 While there were loud hints and rumblings about a great many things involving Kawhi, the man himself was impossible to read. Robby General, Indianapolis Star, "What experts are saying about Kawhi Leonard, Paul George joining the Los Angeles Clippers," 6 July 2019 There are hints of those UCSF Mission Bay modern touches, like the in-room iPads and surgical update texts. Beth Spotswood, SFChronicle.com, "Go to the hospital,and leave ’em laughing," 3 July 2019 There have been other hints of division between Apple and show creators. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Eddy Cue says Apple doesn’t dictate content restrictions for its original TV shows," 3 July 2019 There are little hints of princess [in the] makeup look. Colleen Kratofil, PEOPLE.com, "All the Details on Brittany Cartwright's Bridal Glam for Her Kentucky Wedding to Jax Taylor," 1 July 2019 And as is almost always the case with Leonard, there have been no real hints. Tim Reynolds, orlandosentinel.com, "NBA shifts focus to free agency after draft dust settles," 23 June 2019 There were even hints of cannibalism in the form of cut marks on human bones. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Evil shapeshifters stalk by night in first trailer for AMC’s The Terror: Infamy," 20 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Rocket man America’s stockmarkets soared after Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, hinted that the central bank is looking to cut interest rates this month. The Economist, "Business this week," 13 July 2019 There is no firm timetable for the completion of the Orioles’ rebuild, but the deal that sent veteran pitcher Andrew Cashner to the Boston Red Sox for a pair of 17-year-old Venezuelan prospects hints at a far-off horizon. Peter Schmuck, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles’ Andrew Cashner trade gives a better idea of what’s on horizon for Mike Elias’ rebuilding project," 13 July 2019 Kaye suggested that more disruptive civil disobedience might be needed, while others hinted at a recall of the governor himself, something event organizer Trevor Storrs said wouldn’t be discussed from the stage. Madeline Mcgee, Anchorage Daily News, "As override deadline looms, anti-veto ralliers say they’ll fight to the end," 10 July 2019 But there are already hints that the 2019 iPhone upgrade cycle will be comparatively modest, if not actually a bit of a bore, with far more impactful changes coming in 2020. Edward C. Baig, USA TODAY, "iPhone 11: What to expect and why waiting may be your best option," 10 July 2019 Users have been critical of any local politician who has hinted at supporting even the smallest toll amounts. al.com, "Toll anxiety rises as Byrne tells town hall that ‘my hands are tied’," 8 July 2019 While a third Spider-Man film hasn't been announced yet, the super special post-credit scene not only includes a cute MJ and Peter moment, but totally hints at another film featuring our favorite comic book couple. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Fans Are Freaking Out Over Zendaya and Tom Holland's Chemistry Together in "Spider-Man: Far From Home"," 8 July 2019 Some entertainers who only hinted at their support for the demonstrations have come under pressure to clarify their positions. New York Times, "For Hong Kong Celebrities, Supporting Protests Comes With a Cost," 5 July 2019 While much of this activity happened long ago, a recent look at Apollo-era earthquakes suggests that not all is relegated to the past, hinting that Luna may not be not geologically dead as some once thought. National Geographic, "Why does Earth have a moon, and how does it affect our planet?," 3 July 2019

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 and Verb

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

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Statistics for hint

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

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 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.

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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More from Merriam-Webster on hint

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hint

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hint

Spanish Central: Translation of hint

Nglish: Translation of hint for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hint for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hint

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