\ 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



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

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Synonyms for wink

Synonyms: Verb


Synonyms: Noun

catnap, doze, drowse, forty winks, kip [chiefly British], nap, siesta, snooze

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Examples of wink in a Sentence


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.


Her wink told me she was just kidding. “I knew you could do it,” he said with a wink.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Of course, that isn’t going to fly with an ethics committee, and the alternatives can, at best, point and wink suggestively. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "What do we actually know about the risks of screen time and digital media?," 17 Oct. 2018 The first-wave JAPs had certainly been flashy, but Juicy Couture embodied these ideals with a tone of winking self-awareness. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox, "How the JAP became America’s most complex Jewish stereotype.," 5 Dec. 2018 She's kicked off its release week by revealing the cover, which features the rapper striking a dramatic and daring pose -- and one that winks at Janet Jackson's iconic 1993 Rolling Stone cover. Hilary Hughes, Billboard, "Iggy Azalea Reveals Sultry Cover Art For 'Surviving the Summer' EP," 1 July 2018 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,, "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,, "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., "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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Standing nearby is another little wink from Andrew, a little boy named Deegan Scott wearing Batman shoes and a super man's jersey. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: Andrew Smith's legacy lives on through 4-year-old boy saved by a Butler teammate," 17 Feb. 2018 But Johnson — with perhaps a wink and nudge from officials from the judge on down — was able to slip out of the country before being sentenced. Gregory Korte, USA TODAY, "Trump grants posthumous pardon to former heavyweight champion Jack Johnson," 24 May 2018 While primping for the award show, the Westworld star displayed her voluminous, diffused curls defining her face, dramatic smokey topaz eyeshadow with a wink, while her makeup artist applied a soft pink lipstick with a lip brush. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Best Celebrity Instagrams From The 2019 Golden Globes," 7 Jan. 2019 Thus, the video is a bit of a wink to a famous part — one not sanctioned by either company that could actually greenlight a new Frank Underwood project. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Kevin Spacey released a bizarre video evoking Frank Underwood, apparently to defend himself," 24 Dec. 2018 Near the tram at the base area, JHMR’s newest après spot, RPK 3 (a wink to the acronym that refers to the snowfall forecast for powder day), opens this month, serving comfort food around a roaring fireplace. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "If You're Skiing the Rockies This Winter, Read This First," 4 Dec. 2018 Manafort patted a couple of his lawyers on the shoulder and acknowledged his wife Kathleen, sitting in the front row, with a wink. Alex Pappas, Fox News, "Paul Manafort convicted by jury on bank and tax fraud charges; mistrial declared on 10 counts," 21 Aug. 2018 In Toronto, the Blue Jays’ Twitter account boasted (with a cheeky wink) that the game against the Kansas City Royals was definitely going to be played as scheduled because Toronto’s stadium has a roof. Angela Fritz, Washington Post, "Major spring storm leaves a trail of destruction from the Upper Midwest to the Eastern Seaboard," 16 Apr. 2018 The words were actually written by Monroe and Presley, and all are delivered with a wink, which most fans seemed to understand. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Miranda Lambert Addresses Her Divorce From Blake Shelton in Sassy New Song," 30 Oct. 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.

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First Known Use of wink


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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wink


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

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Statistics for wink

Last Updated

27 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wink

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

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More Definitions for wink



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



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
informal : a very short amount of time


\ 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



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



Medical Definition of wink (Entry 2 of 2)

: a quick closing and opening of the eyelids : blink

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More from Merriam-Webster on wink

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wink

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wink

Spanish Central: Translation of wink

Nglish: Translation of wink for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wink for Arabic Speakers

Comments on wink

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marked by fawning attentiveness

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