Definition of squint in English:

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Pronunciation: /skwint/


1 [no object] Look at someone or something with one or both eyes partly closed in an attempt to see more clearly or as a reaction to strong light: the bright sun made them squint
More example sentences
  • I heard a humming and the dozen fluorescent lights started to flicker on and I blinked, squinting at the bright light.
  • Shading my eyes from the glare of the sun, I squinted to see more clearly.
  • Though smiling, he was squinting hard in the strong light and looked distinctly uncomfortable.
screw up one's eyes, narrow one's eyes, peer, blink
1.1 [with object] Partly close (one’s eyes) in an attempt to see more clearly or as a reaction to strong light.
Example sentences
  • Ivya grew closer and closer, squinting her eyes to make out the figure.
  • The door slammed closed and he squinted his eyes against the pain.
  • Stifling a cry, I squinted my eyes closed and bit my lower lip.
2 [no object] Have eyes that look in different directions: Melanie did not squint
More example sentences
  • Children with lazy eye may squint, look cross-eyed, or tilt their head to see things.
be cross-eyed, have a squint, suffer from strabismus
2.1(Of a person’s eye) have a deviation in the direction of its gaze: her left eye squinted slightly
More example sentences
  • The process of exclusion affects not only the squinting eye, but also in part the one that does not squint.


1 [in singular] A permanent deviation in the direction of the gaze of one eye: I had a bad squint
More example sentences
  • It is usually caused by a squint in one eye, which means the eyes look in different directions.
  • If corrective spectacles are not worn this convergent squint may become permanent.
  • Strabismic amblyopia usually presents with a visible squint, but refractive amblyopia or a small angle strabismus may not be detected until it is too late for treatment to be effective.
cross-eyes, strabismus
2 [in singular] informal A quick or casual look: let me have a squint
More example sentences
  • A quick squint at lunchtime allows residents of this upmarket pile to decide whether or not there is someone sufficiently interesting there to make the short walk down the Mound worthwhile.
  • And a quick squint at his press clippings suggests that the way he earns his living is indeed scandalous.
  • A quick squint in my mirror and I can just make out a Caterham hurtling up behind me.
look, glance, peep, peek, glimpse;
view, examination, study, inspection, scan, sight
informal eyeful, gander, look-see, once-over
3An oblique opening through a wall in a church permitting a view of the altar from an aisle or side chapel.
Example sentences
  • The squint in the title of the play at Chelsea Theatre, is mainly one of those narrow slots in a wall in mediaeval churches where people excluded from the service can watch the Mass.
  • There is a blocked squint, of uncertain date, in the north wall just as you enter the chancel around which careful searching will reveal some Civil War graffiti.
  • The squint gave a view of the altar to parishioners sitting in the lost north transept.



Pronunciation: /ˈskwin(t)ər/
Example sentences
  • The squinters usually continue their surveillance in silence for a moment or two.
  • Furthermore, surveys of Americans between the ages of 24 and 35 tell us that squinters are boring and unattractive.
  • Whether blind as bats or merely squinters, people with less than 20/20 vision endure a lot to improve their view of the world.


[often in combination]: squinty-eyed
More example sentences
  • Stoic and economical in his movements, expressing emotional pain through tight-lipped grimaces and squinty eyes, Mortenson is the perfect cowboy hero.
  • Elam's portrayals of sinister thugs, gangsters and gunslingers were aided immeasurably by his squinty, wandering left eye.
  • And even as I am relating this story I know you are looking upon me with great anger in your squinty, beady eyes.


Mid 16th century (in the sense 'squinting', as in squint-eyed): shortening of asquint.

Words that rhyme with squint

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

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: squint

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