noun, often attributive
\ ˈiŋk How to pronounce ink (audio) \

Definition of ink

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a colored usually liquid material for writing and printing
2 : the black protective secretion of a cephalopod
3 slang : publicity sense 2d
4 informal : one or more tattoos on a person's body Whether or not it's your cup of meat, the proliferation of body-art mags suggests that a slew of folks have ink, and they didn't get it from reading the newspaper.— Albert Mobilio


inked; inking; inks

Definition of ink (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to put ink on ink a pen also : to draw or write on in ink
2a : sign sense 2a inked a new contract

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Other Words from ink


inkiness \ ˈiŋ-​kē-​nəs How to pronounce inkiness (audio) \ noun
inky \ ˈiŋ-​kē How to pronounce inky (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for ink

Synonyms: Verb

autograph, sign, subscribe

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Examples of ink in a Sentence


Fill out the form using blue or black ink. The printer is out of ink. We're using four different inks for this poster.


They just inked a new partnership agreement. the basketball star just inked a two-year contract with the most celebrated franchise in the NBA
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The ink is barely dry on Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos’ divorce papers, filed Friday in King County, Washington. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "Jeff Bezos just lost $38 billion. He’s still the richest person in the world," 6 July 2019 Flat digital printing means the ink dries flat on the paper. Marni Jameson,, "A stationery wardrobe helps your home say hello," 12 June 2019 As a welcome addition to any home, the blend of cobalt with ink blue promotes calmness in any room, door, or porch. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "PPG Paints Reveals 2020 Color of the Year," 11 June 2019 Flat digital printing means the ink dries flat on the paper. Marni Jameson, The Mercury News, "A permanent address warrants a ‘stationery wardrobe’," 11 June 2019 Since the beginning of their whirlwind romance, Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson haven't been shy about showing their affection with ink. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande Reportedly Gets Tattoo in Memory of Pete Davidson's Father," 1 July 2018 Plenty of ink has been spilled about New York’s most recent implosion involving Callaway and Jason Vargas, and the attention can only help Robinson Cano. Michael Shapiro,, "Forget Harper and Machado. Yankees Scored With Free-Agent Bet on DJ LeMahieu," 26 June 2019 According to Ari’s post, her version of the ink is upside down (naturally), and was designed by Mira Mariah, the tattoo artist behind most of the singer’s body art. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande's Tattoos: A Complete Guide," 23 June 2019 There has been of ink spilled in the last five decades exploring every detail of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions, and there are more on the way. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "11 new science fiction and fantasy books to check out in late June," 15 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Porter, the 30th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, was the last to sign, inking his rookie deal about 20 minutes prior to tipoff. Chris Fedor,, "Cleveland Cavaliers sign Darius Garland, Dylan Windler and Kevin Porter Jr. to rookie deals," 3 July 2019 Goodyear officials have hunkered down after Gov. Doug Ducey blasted Nike, which hours earlier inked a deal with the Phoenix suburb to open a manufacturing plant with more than 500 jobs. Joshua Bowling, azcentral, "Goodyear officials silent as Gov. Doug Ducey says Arizona 'doing fine without Nike'," 2 July 2019 Meanwhile, Yegezu helped GoldLink ink his 2016 deal with RCA Records. Sowmya Krishnamurthy, Billboard, "Inside the One-Of-A-Kind Deal That EQT Struck With Universal Music Group," 1 July 2019 Kreiz has used his Hollywood connections to help ink several deals for new movies based on core Mattel franchises. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, "Hasbro and Mattel are making toys matter again," 5 June 2019 Star Wars was first brought into the stable in 1987, when Disney inked a licensing deal with Lucas and opened the simulator ride Star Tours. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Star Wars Park Is a Space-Junk Fantasy," 5 June 2019 The timing was interesting, seeing as how Cardi B had just inked a deal with Atlantic Records. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Nicki Minaj and Cardi B's Relationship: A Complete Timeline," 15 Sep. 2018 Netflix announced earlier this week that the Obamas just inked a multi-year production deal with the streaming giant., "A History Of The Obamas In Hollywood," 22 May 2018 In 2017, the New York Yankees signed outfielder Connor Oliver and the Miami Marlins inked catcher Bryan De La Rosa, who is back with the Crushers this season. Marc Bona,, "Seattle Mariners sign Crushers pitcher Michael Stryffeler," 14 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ink.' 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 ink


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1562, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ink


Middle English enke, from Anglo-French encre, enke, from Late Latin encaustum, from neuter of Latin encaustus burned in, from Greek enkaustos, verbal of enkaiein to burn in — more at encaustic

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Statistics for ink

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ink

The first known use of ink was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for ink



English Language Learners Definition of ink

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: colored liquid that is used for writing or printing
US slang : public attention
biology : the black liquid that is used by some sea creatures for protection



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

: to put ink on (something)
: to sign (a document) to show that you accept or agree with what is written on it
: to hire (someone) to do something by having that person sign a contract


\ ˈiŋk How to pronounce ink (audio) \

Kids Definition of ink

: a liquid material used for writing or printing

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More from Merriam-Webster on ink

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ink

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ink

Spanish Central: Translation of ink

Nglish: Translation of ink for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ink for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about ink

Comments on ink

What made you want to look up ink? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

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