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
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

1a : to put ink on ink a pen ink a printing block
b : to draw or write in ink ink a design often used with incarefully inked in the letters
c : to obliterate with ink usually used with outinked out many lines
2 US, informal
a : to affix one's signature to : sign sense 2a an athlete who has inked a new contract
b : to engage or hire by securing the signature of (someone) on a contract : sign sense 4 … has been inked to do the part of a judge in an HBO special …— Marge Crumbaker
3 informal : tattoo … got himself an elaborate tattoo, his first, inked along his right shoulder …— S. L. Price Kaufman plans on inking a tat to memorialize his accident.— Micah Abrams His heavily muscled arms are inked shoulder to wrist.— Eve Conant

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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

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Examples of ink in a Sentence

Noun Fill out the form using blue or black ink. The printer is out of ink. We're using four different inks for this poster. Verb 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 Acceptable items include computers, laptops, monitors, keyboards, mice, printers, cell phones, servers, cables, ink and toner cartridges, video games, telecom equipment, cable boxes and more. cleveland, "Recycle computers and related electronics this August," 31 July 2020 In April, per a statement from the Department of Justice, the county clerk found absentee ballot requests from eight voters that were tampered with a black ink pen, five of which had their party affiliation switched to Republican. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "West Virginia mail carrier guilty of election fraud after altering ballot requests to Republican," 11 July 2020 Henrot paints a Zen circle in ink wash on a bright yellow background, symbolizing the state of an empty mind. Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, "“Grosse Fatigue” Tells the Story of Life on Earth," 10 July 2020 Though much ink has been spilled on the topic of female leaders’ response to Covid-19 in the past few months, most journalists and political and medical experts relied on assumptions or anecdotes about female leadership to support their claim. Alexandra Ossola, Quartz, "Do countries with female leaders truly fare better with Covid-19?," 9 July 2020 Monica Ramos is an illustrator in Brooklyn who primarily works with watercolors, pencils and ink. New York Times, "PAoLO giordano," 8 July 2020 Now, singer Halsey is the latest to get new ink, and this one is a tribute to her late friend and musician Jarad Anthony Higgins, more commonly known as Juice WRLD. Gabi Thorne, Allure, "Halsey Got a New Hand Tattoo as a Tribute to Juice WRLD," 7 July 2020 Also, old computers, monitors, keyboards, software, mice, printers, modems, ink jet cartridges and cell phones can be dropped off year round at the fleet garage. Carol Kovach, cleveland, "Taking a look at West Park before its annexation to Cleveland: A Place in the Sun," 7 July 2020 In the lower right-hand corner of each of his prints, alongside his signature, Noda stamps his thumbprint in the bright red hanko ink traditionally used for personal seals. Eve Sneider, The New York Review of Books, "Days in the Life of Tetsuya Noda," 4 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In 2019, McDonalds became the first fast food brand to ink a wind deal, according to the AWEA report. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: Fate of oil market tied to the virus," 12 June 2020 In a case still awaiting trial, Alternate Health Inc. alleges Edalat told a series of lies to ink a 2017 agreement worth $4.2 million to sell a cannabis supplement. USA Today, "‘You could see the train wreck coming’: Inexperienced, dubious companies among many aiming to cash in on coronavirus antibody tests," 2 June 2020 Lionsgate has inked a deal for writer-director team Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz's next film, Rapture, as the studio redates the duo's feature debut Antebellum for a worldwide theatrical release from Aug. 21. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, "Lionsgate Lands 'Rapture' From Directors Gerard Bush, Christopher Renz," 1 May 2020 General Motors has inked a deal to provide 30,000 ventilators to the US government for $490 million, the Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday. Reed Albergottiand Faiz Siddiqui,, "US makes $490 million deal with GM for emergency ventilators," 8 Apr. 2020 By Sunday, Allen had inked a deal with the independent publisher Skyhorse, under its Arcade imprint, which published the book last week. Rumaan Alam, The New Republic, "Woody Allen’s Memoir Is Shrouded in Secrecy. Why?," 1 Apr. 2020 According to The Times, Meghan has inked a deal with Disney to do some voiceover work. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Has a Voiceover Deal with Disney That Could Hint at the Sussexes' Future Career Plans," 11 Jan. 2020 Spotify has also inked content deals, including a partnership to produce exclusive podcasts for Barack and Michelle Obama's Higher Ground. Ken Fowler, CNN, "For Spotify, music might not actually be the key to success," 20 Dec. 2019 Kentucky The Wildcats might not have inked the same sort of star power seen at Alabama, LSU and elsewhere in the SEC, especially at the offensive skill positions. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "National signing day winners and losers led by Clemson, Ohio State and Southern California," 19 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for ink

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for ink

Last Updated

4 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ink.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for ink


How to pronounce ink (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ink

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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