wink

verb
\ˈwiŋk \
winked; winking; winks

Definition of wink 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to shut one eye briefly as a signal or in teasing

2 : to close and open the eyelids quickly

3 : to avoid seeing or noting something usually used with at

4 : to gleam or flash intermittently : twinkle her glasses winking in the sunlight— Harper Lee

5a : to come to an end usually used with out

b : to stop shining usually used with out

6 : to signal a message with a light

transitive verb

1 : to cause to open and shut

2 : to affect or influence by or as if by blinking the eyes

wink

noun

Definition of wink (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a brief period of sleep : nap catching a wink

2a : a hint or sign given by winking

b : an act of winking

3 : the time of a wink : instant quick as a wink

4 : a flicker of the eyelids : blink

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of wink in a Sentence

Verb

He winked and said that he understood. She winked at me as she asked what I was doing tonight. She winked an eye at me. The puppy was winking in the bright sun. The stars winked in the night sky. The airplane's landing lights winked on and off.

Noun

Her wink told me she was just kidding. “I knew you could do it,” he said with a wink.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

With the legality no longer posing any sort of ethical barrier, there's no longer a need to wink, and sports gambling probably will be mainstreamed in a way that will be apparent to both gamblers and fans who've never placed a bet in their lives. Rick Maese, chicagotribune.com, "A safe bet: Legal gambling could change the way we watch, talk and experience sports," 5 July 2018 At this very moment—before draft picks are fulfilled and wink-wink agreements are made real—the NBA bursts with possibility. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "LeBron James, Free Agency and the Biggest NBA Offseason Questions," 11 June 2018 And one by one, half the Avengers wink out of existence: Bucky, and Black Panther, and Scarlet Witch, and Spider-Man, and character after character who just moments ago seemed certain to live all dissolve into dust. Constance Grady, Vox, "How the ending of Avengers: Infinity War finds power in cheap spectacle," 4 May 2018 The Last Jedi took a cue from its predecessor, introducing us to Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), and winking at female fins with a nice, long look at Kylo Ren's (Adam Driver) sculpted torso. refinery29.com, "Solo: A Star Wars Story Fails Its Great Woman Characters," 25 May 2018 In his fashion show, Todd Snyder plans to 'wink' at the trend of casual streetwear trend by having models sport Kangol hats. Ray A. Smith, WSJ, "A ‘Modern Preppy’ Maestro Makes Peace With Streetwear," 10 July 2018 Expect an arty, sometimes winking, approach to techno and house that never loses its sense of fun. Steve Byrne, Detroit Free Press, "Movement 2018: Highlight picks for Detroit's electronic music festival," 24 May 2018 While features such as winking 3-D emoji and screen-time limits for your apps might take much of the attention when the software arrives, iOS 12 is a major step forward in one other crucial area: smartphone security. David Nield, WIRED, "All the Ways iOS 12 Will Make Your iPhone More Secure," 8 July 2018 In the near darkness the oven winked at her with its crooked eyes. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Wolves," 2 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Albin turned the thumb up as a wink to McCain's vote, of which Albin approved. Fox News, "1,500 line up in Arizona heat to pay respects to John McCain," 29 Aug. 2018 The more polite Open cans warm up the bass, soften the treble, and wink at you invitingly. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "MrSpeakers Aeon Flow headphones review: songs of ice and fire," 30 July 2018 Ant-Man and the Wasp follows that tradition, with a mid-credits scene that speaks to the goings-on in the larger Marvel cinematic universe, as well as a post-credits scene that functions as a fun wink to viewers who stick around to the very end. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Ant-Man and the Wasp’s post-credits scenes, explained," 6 July 2018 And, during the same Swift acceptance speech that saw Demi's cutaway, the camera cut to Camila Cabello, who gave a doofy wink to Swift. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "Demi Lovato Glaring At Taylor Swift Was Probably A BBMA Camera Trick," 21 May 2018 When the governor walked into the bill-signing room Tuesday morning after an unusually drama-free final day of session, Miller gave him a wink and shook his hand. Rachel Chason, Washington Post, "‘Together, we have taken action’: Ahead of Md. elections, bipartisanship prevails," 10 Apr. 2018 If there’s someone in a car next to you, look at them and give them a wink. Time, "Ask Dr. Ruth: Can Kegel Exercises Make Sex Better for Women?," 5 Apr. 2018 The fact the world-weary couple get a break from their children is both funny and a nice wink to the parents in the audience. Rick Bentley, chicagotribune.com, "'Hotel Transylvania 3' review: Monsters aboard the Love Boat," 12 July 2018 Facial expressions, microexpressions, emotions, tone of voice, body posture, movements, winks and twitches all give clues about a person’s mental state. Marcus Holmes, Washington Post, "Trump canceled the summit with North Korea. Here’s the real missed opportunity.," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wink.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of wink

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wink

Verb

Middle English, from Old English wincian; akin to Old High German winchan to stagger, wink and perhaps to Latin vacillare to sway, Sanskrit vañcati he goes crookedly

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about wink

Statistics for wink

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wink

The first known use of wink was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for wink

wink

verb

English Language Learners Definition of wink

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to close and open one eye quickly as a signal to someone

: to close and open your eyes quickly

: to shine in an unsteady way

wink

noun

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

: an act of closing and opening one eye very quickly often as a way of giving a secret signal or private message to someone

: a very short amount of time

wink

verb
\ˈwiŋk \
winked; winking

Kids Definition of wink

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to close and open one eye quickly as a signal or hint

2 : to close and open the eyelids quickly : blink

wink

noun

Kids Definition of wink (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a hint or sign given by closing and opening one eye quickly

2 : a brief period of sleep

3 : an act of closing and opening usually one eye quickly

4 : a very short time I'll be back in a wink.

\ˈwiŋk \

Medical Definition of wink 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: to close and open the eyelids quickly

wink

noun

Medical Definition of wink (Entry 2 of 2)

: a quick closing and opening of the eyelids : blink

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on wink

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a private place of worship

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!