hint

noun
\ 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

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

Nor do the documents offer any hint as to who will pay for the programs, which include health, education and public works projects in the West Bank, Gaza, and for Palestinian communities in Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. Matthew Lee, BostonGlobe.com, "US will present Palestinian economic plan amid global criticism," 24 June 2019 But if past outcomes offer any hint, the results are likely to fall far short of what lawmakers are promising. Jason Grotto, ProPublica, "Illinois Is Poised to Become the Gambling Capital of the Midwest," 10 June 2019 The royal couple has not announced their baby's arrival yet, but do Harry's travel plans offer a new hint? Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry Is Traveling Out of the Country Next Week. What Does That Mean for the Royal Baby's Arrival?," 1 May 2019 Tikal, where temples have been methodically cleared of overgrowth, offers a hint of what Guatemala may have looked like back then. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, "The Lost World of the Maya is Finally Emerging From the Jungle," 7 Feb. 2019 Still, a 2018 study from Taiwan offered a hint that treating herpes infection might lower later dementia risk. Washington Post, "Scientists rethink Alzheimer’s, diversifying the drug search," 10 Sep. 2019 Such studies could offer hints about where life first arose on Earth. NBC News, "Strange life-forms found deep in a mine point to vast 'underground Galapagos'," 7 Sep. 2019 To this point, there has been nothing from management or the coaching staff to offer a hint of what the plans might be going forward, not that there is anything wrong with a re-emerging 3-point shooting big man. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Is Heat equation as simple as Dion Waiters to the rescue?," 18 Aug. 2019 The play offered a hint of the multifaceted threat who will confound defenses come September. Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, "Five Things We Learned from the Ravens’ 26-13 preseason win over the Green Bay Packers," 16 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The possible deployment of Chinese troops on Hong Kong streets is regularly hinted at by Beijing. Ben Westcott, CNN, "The date which has both Hong Kong and Beijing on edge," 14 Sep. 2019 The mystery of her fate haunts and informs the story, but her existence is barely hinted at. Jeremy Kohler, The Mercury News, "Atwood’s ‘Testaments’ takes her ‘Tale’ to a brilliant conclusion," 10 Sep. 2019 South Alabama football coach Steve Campbell made official Monday what had been hinted at since April: Cephus Johnson is the Jaguars’ starting quarterback for Saturday’s season-opener at No. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "Cephus Johnson ‘has won’ South Alabama starting QB job, Steve Campbell says," 26 Aug. 2019 Since Disney now owns X-Men, it’s been hinted that the mutants will show up in future Marvel titles (because everything eventually will). James Hibberd, EW.com, "The 17 biggest summer box office winners and losers of 2019," 14 Aug. 2019 With this deal, which has been hinted at for months, Mr. Tsai will take control of the team over a full year early. Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times, "Joseph Tsai Nears Full Ownership of the Nets," 14 Aug. 2019 It gets hinted at, this allusion to Shiv having had a meltdown. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "In Season 2, Succession Is Sarah Snook's Show," 12 Aug. 2019 As was hinted at in the lead-up to the debate on Wednesday, Booker and Biden hit each other for their records on criminal justice. Allan Smith, NBC News, "The backstory on that Biden-Booker clash," 1 Aug. 2019 According to a press release from the British Antarctic Survey, the hot spot was originally hinted at in 2001 when low-resolution satellite data showed a geothermal anomaly at the top of the peak. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Rare Lava Lake Found on Top of Sub-Antarctic Volcano," 8 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 4

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

22 Oct 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

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