\ ˈhint How to pronounce hint (audio) \

Definition of hint

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a statement that expresses indirectly what one prefers not to say explicitly had been dropping hints that he would like to be invited
b : an indirect or general suggestion for how to do or solve something helpful hints for inexperienced cooks can't tell you the answer but can give you a hint
2 : a slight indication of the existence, approach, or nature of something : clue gave only a hint of what was to come
3 : a very small amount : suggestion with just a hint of spice
4 archaic : opportunity, turn


hinted; hinting; hints

Definition of hint (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to convey indirectly and by allusion rather than explicitly a suspicion that she scarcely dared to hint

intransitive verb

: to give an indirect suggestion or piece of evidence that leads one toward the solution of a problem : to give a hint usually used with at hint at the answer

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Other Words from hint


hinter noun

Choose the Right Synonym for hint


suggest, imply, hint, intimate, insinuate mean to convey an idea indirectly. suggest may stress putting into the mind by association of ideas, awakening of a desire, or initiating a train of thought. a film title that suggests its subject matter imply is close to suggest but may indicate a more definite or logical relation of the unexpressed idea to the expressed. measures implying that bankruptcy was imminent hint implies the use of slight or remote suggestion with a minimum of overt statement. hinted that she might get the job intimate stresses delicacy of suggestion without connoting any lack of candor. intimates that there is more to the situation than meets the eye insinuate applies to the conveying of a usually unpleasant idea in a sly underhanded manner. insinuated that there were shady dealings

Examples of hint in a Sentence

Noun Her face gave me a hint of what she was thinking. “I have a lot of work to do.” “OK, I'll leave. I can take a hint.” The sauce has a subtle hint of garlic. He had a hint of a German accent. They'll betray you at the first hint of trouble. Verb I keep hinting, but she's not catching on. I think I need to be more direct. The boss hinted about possible layoffs.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Any hint of meat reduction is often greeted with the same enthusiasm as prohibition, gun control, or mandatory masks. Eleni Vlachos, The New Republic, 13 Sep. 2021 Reports of lightning and rain rang out as far south as San Diego, with some residents of the drought-riddled state appreciative for even the hint of precipitation. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 10 Sep. 2021 The game against the Dodgers, the annual division thorn, began with so much promise for a team furiously searching for even the faintest hint of some. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Aug. 2021 Any hint of hawkish tone in Jerome Powell’s speech could move the price of gold. Naeem Aslam, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2021 The beams and concrete hint at another element shaping the conversion. John King, San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Sep. 2021 More interesting, however, is the script’s hint that the teen is already a demi-sociopath. Amy Nicholson, Variety, 3 Sep. 2021 Alaska’s long summer days, when there’s barely a hint of night to be found, relieve the worry of returning to civilization before dark. Washington Post, 3 Sep. 2021 And back again with, say, a mischievous hint of Rota to remind us that this is a show. Los Angeles Times, 2 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Her reluctance to take his advice seems to hint at future problems for the two. Abby Govindan, Vulture, 21 July 2021 These numbers confirm an old rule in palaeontology - that fossils in general are exceedingly rare, and hint that many species once living on Earth were probably never preserved. David Bressan, Forbes, 16 Apr. 2021 Erykah Badu also seemed to hint at a new chapter, unveiling a shaggy blonde bob with exposed roots. Michella Oré, Vogue, 5 Sep. 2021 The worried looks in the eyes of my Covid-19 patients hint that questioning motives isn’t necessary. Jay Baruch, STAT, 31 Aug. 2021 Fans then see glimpses of Spider-Man's old enemies including an orange orb rolls through the street before setting off a chain explosion — appearing to hint at a Green Goblin return. Naledi Ushe, PEOPLE.com, 25 Aug. 2021 Asides throughout reveal that Briseis is telling this story from a vantage point 50 years on and hint that there will be another volume to chronicle her life after Troy. Washington Post, 24 Aug. 2021 But preliminary data from seven states hint that the arrival of the Delta variant in July may have altered the calculus. Chris Cillizza, CNN, 18 Aug. 2021 But preliminary data from seven states hint that the arrival of the delta variant in July may have altered the calculus. BostonGlobe.com, 17 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hint.' 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 hint


1604, in the meaning defined at sense 4


1648, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for hint

Noun and Verb

probably alteration of obsolete hent act of seizing, from hent, verb

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Dictionary Entries Near hint



hint at

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Statistics for hint

Last Updated

20 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hint.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hint. Accessed 25 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for hint



English Language Learners Definition of hint

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small piece of information that helps you guess an answer or do something more easily
: information about something given in an indirect way especially : a statement that suggests something that you do not want to say in a direct way
: a very small amount of something



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

: to say (something) or give information about (something) in an indirect way


\ ˈhint How to pronounce hint (audio) \

Kids Definition of hint

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : information that helps a person guess an answer or do something more easily
2 : a small amount : trace There's a hint of spring in the air.


hinted; hinting

Kids Definition of hint (Entry 2 of 2)

: to suggest something without plainly asking or saying it I hinted that I need help.

More from Merriam-Webster on hint

Nglish: Translation of hint for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hint for Arabic Speakers


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