Definition of hint in English:


Syllabification: hint
Pronunciation: /hint


1A slight or indirect indication or suggestion: he has given no hint of his views
More example sentences
  • Their hints at a possible agreement made reporters froth at the mouth and swat speculation back and forth between themselves.
  • Xil thought she detected hypnotic hints in the piece.
  • Suddenly the hints and puzzle pieces began to form a point and it hit me harder than falling ten stories off an apartment building.
1.1A small piece of practical information or advice: handy hints about what to buy
More example sentences
  • The course organiser provides practical hints to help break the routine, fight the cravings and stay positive through the whole process.
  • The trouble is that until this week the public have only received hints of the information underlying their leader's certainty.
  • The authors give practical hints on how to stage a coup, and consider what might happen if the military decided to take over in Britain.
tip, suggestion, pointer, clue, guideline, recommendation;
advice, help
informal how-to
1.2A very small trace of something: Randy smiled with a hint of mockery
More example sentences
  • But we view our own political elites, fighting against them, with more than a hint of suspicion.
  • Team-work touched with a hint of madness is what seems to appeal, which is why Rodrigues has settled in so well.
  • On tasting you get a hint of ripe melon and then a rush of buttery tropical fruits bound with oak.


[no object] Back to top  
1Suggest or indicate something indirectly or covertly: there were those who hinted at doctored evidence [with clause]: Edwards has hinted that he will dispose of his majority shareholding
More example sentences
  • So I wondered whether people were suggesting or hinting to me that I should step down.
  • I told him how my mom was hinting for me to offer them a place to live.
  • In adding this, Dr Hope is strongly hinting that he may yet change his mind - but he is also risking being accused of procrastination.
imply, insinuate, intimate, suggest, indicate, signal;
allude to, refer to, drive at, mean
informal get at
1.1 (hint at) (Of a thing) be a slight or possible indication of: the restrained fronts of the terraced houses only hinted at the wealth within
More example sentences
  • It also needs to keep London and Dublin in line with a flash of thigh that hints at possible future breakthroughs.
  • This copy does more than hint at possible enjoyment, which is all that would be needed for a low-involvement decision.
  • If so, they rarely show it, although a few jump cuts in the sequences with Amin hint at possible difficulties.


early 17th century (in the sense 'occasion, opportunity'): apparently from obsolete hent 'grasp, get hold of', from Old English hentan, of Germanic origin; related to hunt. The basic notion is 'something that may be taken advantage of'.


drop a hint

see drop.

take a (or the) hint

Understand and act on a hint: she tried to put him off but he didn’t take the hint
More example sentences
  • Cloud took the hint and latched his arms around both my legs when I jumped.
  • Hilary kept at it, not taking the hint that Lavenna didn't want to talk about it.
  • Meeting Faolan's eye, I yawn suggestively, and he takes the hint.

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