\ 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 The move could provide a hint as to Apple's future ambitions, however. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Disney CEO Bob Iger resigns from his Apple board seat," 16 Sep. 2019 Start by having an honest (and likely uncomfortable) conversation, avoid showing any hints of favoritism, and then find a new sounding board. Kathryn Vasel, CNN, "From your work BFF to your boss: How to navigate relationships in the office," 13 Sep. 2019 There’s not a hint of overly stereotyped rivalry or cattiness, just unflinching loyalty in the face of a cruel world. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "EW talks YA: Why these two extraordinary teen tales deserve your attention," 12 Sep. 2019 But the testimonies of new Syrian arrivals provide a hint of what might be to come. New York Times, "Migration to Greece Is Rising, as Erdogan Warns of Still More," 11 Sep. 2019 Lili did give a hint that white the costume won't involve any special effects, there may be a wig, meaning blonde-haired Betty is probably off the table. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Lili Reinhart Just Made it VERY Clear That She is Still Very Much Dating Cole Sprouse," 9 Sep. 2019 Manager Bruce Bochy gave a hint of what’s to come the rest of September with a 12-man bullpen. John Shea, SFChronicle.com, "Giants add Kyle Barraclough, who’s thrilled to join hometown team," 2 Sep. 2019 Chop block calls, holding and offsides whistles were major detours to any hint of the two teams moving the football. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Memorial dealt 14-0 season-opening loss to Kempner," 30 Aug. 2019 Many of those workers were Irish immigrants, and this museum, encompassing five tiny and lovingly preserved alley houses, provides a hint of what life was like for them in the 1840s. Chris Kaltenbach, baltimoresun.com, "8 ways to celebrate Labor Day weekend in Baltimore," 29 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb All of this hints at the deliberate, mechanical aspect of memory. New York Times, "20th-Century Rogues’ Gallery Gets a Modern Twist," 12 Sep. 2019 Those moves only hint at the anxiety in City Hall, where officials don’t seem to know where Lelling’s investigation is headed or who’s at risk of being ensnared. Adrian Walker, BostonGlobe.com, "US Attorney Andrew Lelling is the new sheriff in town," 8 Sep. 2019 The Daily Mail hints that Chelsea's sudden change might not just be Lampard's doing, however, as FIFA are discussing plans to completely overhaul the loaning system across the board ahead of the 2020/21 season. SI.com, "Frank Lampard Forced Into U-Turn Over Chelsea's Loan Policy Ahead of FIFA Clampdown," 7 Sep. 2019 So this could potentially hint at further iterations of retro gaming updates to come...eventually. Brittany Vincent, Popular Mechanics, "There’s Never Been a Better Time to Be a Nintendo Fan Than Now," 5 Sep. 2019 The adventures of the Jacket Avengers often saw them head to space, which fits in with Marvel's current love for everything cosmic, and the main storyline of the era could potentially hint at where The Eternals might find their big bad. Rosie Knight, The Hollywood Reporter, "Who Will Be in Marvel's Next Avengers Team?," 31 Aug. 2019 Moreover, if there are modern victims, then the reparations argument hints that there are modern perpetrators, too. Charlie Peters, National Review, "Glasgow University’s Curious Decision to Pay Itself Reparations," 28 Aug. 2019 At least one of them tantalizingly hints to a connection to another Remedy game. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Review: Control is Remedy’s best game yet—and a ray tracing masterpiece," 26 Aug. 2019 That hints at how underlying problems of poverty and poor educational attainment continue to hold back Detroit. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit can't cherry-pick statistics, ignore inconvenient facts," 21 Aug. 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


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

5 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for hint

The first known use of hint was in 1604

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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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