Definition of jink
: to move quickly or unexpectedly with sudden turns and shifts (as in dodging)
jink was our Word of the Day on 08/16/2014. Hear the podcast!
Examples of jink in a sentence
jinking here and there with remarkable agility, the thieving urchin frustrated all attempts to catch him
Did You Know?
The investigation into the origins of jink begins with documents from 18th century Scotland. Unfortunately, they contain no clear indication of how this shifty little word was formed. What can be said with certainty is that the word has always expressed a quick or unexpected motion. For instance, in two poems from 1785, Robert Burns uses the verb to indicate both the quick motion of a fiddler's elbow and the sudden disappearance of a cheat around a corner. In the 20th century, the verb caught on with air force pilots and rugby players, who began using it to describe their elusive maneuvers to dodge opponents and enemies. Jink can also be used as a noun meaning "a quick evasive turn" or, in its plural form, "pranks." (Etymologists are quite certain that the latter use is connected with the term high jinks.)
Origin and Etymology of jink
First Known Use: 1785
First Known Use of jink
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up jink? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).