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

Forms remain abstract, although hints of body parts — an eye, a limb — and suggestions of plants, trees and buildings can be glimpsed. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Jay DeFeo show offers a provocative sketch of a California artist finding her voice," 17 Aug. 2019 Not a hint of humidity hung in the air, aiding the flight of the five home runs each team socked. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros fall to Athletics in 10-homer slugfest," 16 Aug. 2019 The show did not hint at any lingering tension between Scalzo and his head coach after the loss. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "In Netflix's QB1, Kentucky football's Nik Scalzo shows the high stress of recruiting," 16 Aug. 2019 There are many hints, including the name of the Cleavers’ hometown: Mayfield. Mark Dawidziak, cleveland.com, "10 best scripted TV shows set in Ohio," 16 Aug. 2019 But the flick didn’t hint that Missy was running out of ideas. Brian Josephs, Billboard, "Every Missy Elliott Music Video, Ranked," 14 Aug. 2019 The Pro Bowl comment hints at an athletic bravado that bubbles underneath Ferguson’s humble demeanor. Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, "Nothing comes easily for an NFL rookie, and Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson wouldn’t have it any other way," 13 Aug. 2019 In the Vienna underground, hints of these fragrances, and various blends of the scents, were diffused in the ventilation systems, and riders were asked to opine about the experiment online. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Riders in Vienna have opted for stale subway air over aromatherapy," 10 Aug. 2019 Ringed by hills and hidden by forests, the ancient site was excavated little more than a century ago—a hint, perhaps, of other undiscovered treasures awaiting Peloponnesian travelers. Thomas Linkel, National Geographic, "How to get away from it all in Greece," 18 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But Lightfoot has also hinted that, without help from the state, the city could look at other revenue-generating options such as property tax hikes. John Byrne, chicagotribune.com, "Facing $838 million city budget shortfall, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot holds first town hall: ‘We actually value your opinion’," 6 Sep. 2019 While the future of Minaj’s music career appears to be up in the air, the Queens, New York, native has hinted at a new album — as well as changes in her personal life — in the past few months. Jeff Nelson, PEOPLE.com, "Is Nicki Minaj Done with Music? Rapper Claims 'I've Decided to Retire & Have My Family'," 5 Sep. 2019 Climate activists are closely watching Buttigieg and Harris, too, whose campaigns have hinted at a release soon. Mark K. Matthews, Scientific American, "Five Things to Watch During CNN’s Climate Forum," 4 Sep. 2019 Hong Kong police have begun rounding up pro-democracy leaders, and officials have hinted at the possibility of imposing emergency law. Megan K. Stack, The New Yorker, "Bravery and Nihilism Amid the Protests in Hong Kong," 31 Aug. 2019 Israel has not taken responsibility for the strikes but Netanyahu has hinted at involvement in Iraq. Joseph Hincks, Time, "Israel Is Escalating Its Shadow War With Iran. Here's What to Know," 29 Aug. 2019 The show has hinted that there still could be hope for their future. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Wait, Is NCIS: LA Now Hinting There Could be a Chance for JAG’s Mac and Harm?," 25 Aug. 2019 Manager Ernesto Valverde had previously hinted that Messi would be evaluated before the game, but the winger was forced to miss training on Saturday as a result of the injury, so Valverde has clearly decided not to risk Messi. SI.com, "Lionel Messi Left Out of Barcelona Squad to Face Real Betis With Calf Injury," 25 Aug. 2019 Executive producer Marc Guggenheim hinted at a Perry cameo in season two. Fiona Moriarty-mclaughlin, The Hollywood Reporter, "Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne Highlight 'Carnival Row' Premiere," 23 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

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

17 Sep 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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