[ hint ]
/ hɪnt /


an indirect, covert, or helpful suggestion; clue: Give me a hint as to his identity.
a very slight or hardly noticeable amount; soupçon: a hint of garlic in the salad dressing.
perceived indication or suggestion; note; intimation: a hint of spring in the air.
Obsolete. an occasion or opportunity.

verb (used with object)

to give a hint of: gray skies hinting a possible snowfall.

verb (used without object)

to make indirect suggestion or allusion; subtly imply (usually followed by at): The article hinted at corruption in the mayor's office.

Origin of hint

1595–1605; (noun) orig., opportunity, occasion, apparently variant of obsolete hent grasp, act of seizing, derivative of the v.: to grasp, take, Middle English henten, Old English hentan; (v.) derivative of the noun


5 imply. Hint, intimate, insinuate, suggest denote the conveying of an idea to the mind indirectly or without full or explicit statement. To hint is to convey an idea covertly or indirectly, but intelligibly: to hint that one would like a certain present; to hint that bits of gossip might be true. To intimate is to give a barely perceptible hint, often with the purpose of influencing action: to intimate that something may be possible. To insinuate is to hint artfully, often at what one would not dare to say directly: to insinuate something against someone's reputation. Suggest denotes particularly recalling something to the mind or starting a new train of thought by means of association of ideas: The name doesn't suggest anything to me.


hint·er, noun un·hint·ed, adjective

Example sentences from the Web for hint

British Dictionary definitions for hint

/ (hɪnt) /


a suggestion or implication given in an indirect or subtle manner he dropped a hint
a helpful piece of advice or practical suggestion
a small amount; trace


(when intr, often foll by at; when tr, takes a clause as object) to suggest or imply indirectly

Derived forms of hint

hinter, noun hinting, noun hintingly, adverb

Word Origin for hint

C17: of uncertain origin

Idioms and Phrases with hint


see take a hint.