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Syllabification: wink
Pronunciation: /wiNGk

Definition of wink in English:


[no object]
1Close and open one eye quickly, typically to indicate that something is a joke or a secret or as a signal of affection or greeting: he winked at Nicole as he passed
More example sentences
  • The smiley icon appeared momentarily, one of the eyes closing quickly as it winked.
  • Before I could signal my incredulity he winked and nodded at a diagram pinned to the wall.
  • He glanced at Dallas and winked as Calida opened the gate and walked over.
1.1 (wink at) Pretend not to notice (something bad or illegal): the authorities winked at their illegal trade
More example sentences
  • We wink at all this, and yet like to pretend that we are respectable.
  • If the individual does not speak out against untouchability, it means he is winking at its practice.
  • From time they were boys, others have fawned over them, winked at their flaws, excused their peccadilloes.
turn a blind eye to, close one's eyes to, ignore, overlook, disregard;
connive at, condone, tolerate
1.2(Of a bright object or a light) shine or flash intermittently.
Example sentences
  • At night, ropes of tiny white lights wink among the vines.
  • I can still see him, just, brake lights winking as he catches up with a line of cars ahead.
  • Later that evening, as the sun sets and lights wink on in the surrounding hills, I set out to visit the city's most popular bar.


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An act of closing and opening one eye quickly, typically as a signal: Barney gave him a knowing wink
More example sentences
  • ‘Good enough to eat,’ he added with a wink and in a manner that can only be described as sarcastic.
  • Pretty rude, I think, so to clarify my intent I give a cheeky wink and nodding-back-a-pint gesture.
  • There are no winks or hidden gestures in the music.


Old English wincian 'close the eyes', of Germanic origin; related to German winken 'to wave', also to wince1.


as easy as winking

informal Very easy or easily.
Example sentences
  • Henry had always made friends as easy as winking.
  • So users should find it as easy as winking to get at the information they need, when they need it and in the form they need.
  • Staying here is a journey into a bygone era, when life moved at a gentle pace and communion with the self was as easy as winking.

in the wink of an eye (or in a wink)

Very quickly.
Example sentences
  • She's a master of surprise, able in the wink of an eye to transport the reader from tranquil normality to stark terror.
  • The listing was withdrawn but I would have purchased it in a wink.
  • Being a Newcastle fan I know first hand Kieron's strengths and weaknesses, I know that he has bags of pace, can skin players in the wink of an eye, can create and score goals.

not sleep (or get) a wink (or not get a wink of sleep)

Not sleep at all.
Example sentences
  • The afternoon before the game, I was so nervous that I did not get a wink of sleep - it is the first time that has happened in my whole career.
  • I watched the door all night and did not sleep a wink.
  • So restless that she could not sleep a wink and therefore had left her cozy bedroom.

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