Definition of hint in English:

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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.
clue, inkling, suggestion, indication, indicator, sign, signal, pointer, intimation, insinuation, innuendo, mention, whisper
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.
trace, touch, suspicion, suggestion, dash, soupçon, tinge, modicum, whiff, taste, undertone
informal smidgen, tad, speck


[no object]
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.



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.


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'.

Words that rhyme with hint

asquint, bint, clint, dint, flint, glint, imprint, lint, mint, misprint, print, quint, skint, splint, sprint, squint, stint, tint

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: hint

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