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

For Pyeongchang this year, where the temperatures dropped into the low double digits, Lauren’s red, white and blue parkas had wearable heating components—printed in silver conductive ink in the shape of the American flag. Christina Binkley, WSJ, "Ralph Lauren Wants People to Feel Good About Their Country," 7 Nov. 2018 The cipher is a lovely hybrid of the letters M and H written in blue ink with a crown hovering above. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Monogram Compares to Kate Middleton and Prince William's," 31 July 2018 The real timeline is written in permanent ink, so buckle up and follow along to find out how — and when — Grande and Davidson really began. Samantha Sasso,, "Tattoos Unlock The Mystery Of Ariana Grande & Pete Davidson's Relationship," 9 July 2018 Unfortunately, tattoo detectives hoping to solve the mysterious meaning of this ink will be unable to spot anything in the photo. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin Reportedly Got Matching Tattoos," 2 Jan. 2019 Photo: Bibliothèque nationale de France Hugo drew with a deceptively solid sense of composition, an eye for crucial details, and a deft, lovely touch with ink that can be mentioned in the same breath with Rembrandt’s. Peter Plagens, WSJ, "‘Stones to Stains: The Drawings of Victor Hugo’ Review: A Writer’s Other, Haunting Talent," 29 Oct. 2018 Grande With this ink, Pete chose to show off his relationship with Ariana in a big way. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson’s Matching Tattoos: A Complete Guide," 15 Oct. 2018 Together forever? Dakota Johnson and Chris Martin were just spotted with new matching ink. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Dakota Johnson and Chris Martin Were Spotted With Matching Tattoos," 6 Sep. 2018 Some documents written with the seed ink are still preserved today. Caroline Judelson, Fox News, "7 crazy avocado facts to help you celebrate National Avocado Day," 31 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The actress has inked a contract with skin-care brand Obagi, and is now serving as the 30-year-old brand's first-ever global ambassador. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Priyanka Chopra Is the New Face of Obagi Skin Care," 8 May 2019 Copeland Commercial and Hillwood have inked a deal with Frameworks to fill the final open space in Interstate Commerce Center in north Houston, and will soon break ground on a second phase of the project near FM 1960 and Interstate 45. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Frameworks lease kicks off next phase north Houston industrial park," 21 June 2018 The remaining countries of the group have recently inked multiple deals among themselves that have left American exporters at a disadvantage in their markets. New York Times, "Trump Upends Global Trade Order Built by U.S.," 10 June 2018 Viacom, in an effort led by CEO Bob Bakish, has inked multiyear deals with both Tyler Perry and Trevor Noah that encompass TV, film and shortform video. Bryn Elise Sandberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "TV’s Arms Race for Talent Is Blowing Up Traditional Studio Deals," 24 May 2018 Taboola has inked a deal with Chinese smartphone manufacturer ZTE Corp. to incorporate a new feature that displays Taboola’s recommended links on some of its phones, the companies announced Wednesday. Benjamin Mullin, WSJ, "Taboola Signs Deal With ZTE to Create Android Rival to Apple News," 4 Apr. 2018 Chipmaker Qualcomm has inked memorandums of understanding for sales totaling at least $2 billion with leading Chinese phone makers such as Lenovo, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi. Clay Chandler, Fortune, "Trump, China and Armageddon," 27 Jan. 2018 However, both of those contracts were originally inked more than a year ago and may not reflect the more current realities of the market, Mr. Reuveni said. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "Ultraluxury-Penthouse Sale Defies Slowing Manhattan Market," 4 Jan. 2019 The four-issue miniseries, which was written by Jody Houser, illustrated by Stefano Martino, inked by Keith Champagne, colored by Lauren Affe, and lettered by Nate Piekos, will be available for purchase in September. Brianna Wiest, Teen Vogue, "The New "Stranger Things" Comic Books Will Focus on Will's Time in the Upside Down," 19 June 2018

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

19 May 2019

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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

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