Definition of wink in English:

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Pronunciation: /wɪŋk/


[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.
blink, flutter, bat
technical nictate, nictitate
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/shut one's eyes to, ignore, overlook, disregard, pretend not to notice;
look the other way;
connive at, condone, tolerate
2(Of a bright object or a light) shine or flash intermittently: the diamond on her finger winked in the moonlight
More 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.
sparkle, twinkle, flash, flicker, glitter, gleam, shimmer, shine;
rare scintillate


An act of winking: 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.



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.
very soon/quickly, in a second, in a minute, in a moment, in a trice, in a flash, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, in (less than) no time, in no time at all, before you know it, in a very short time;
North American  momentarily
informal in a jiffy, in two shakes (of a lamb's tail), before you can say Jack Robinson, in a sec, in the blink of an eye, in a blink, before you can say knife
British informal in a tick, in two ticks, in a mo
North American informal in a snap

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.



Pronunciation: /ˈwɪŋkə/


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

  • Today someone who winks closes and opens an eye quickly. In Anglo-Saxon times to wink was simply to close the eyes. Hoodwink, meaning ‘to trick or deceive’, harks back to this original meaning. To hoodwink someone in the 16th century was to blindfold with a hood, before an execution or while attacking them. The modern metaphorical sense developed early the next century. To tip someone the wink is an example of old underworld slang or ‘rogues' cant’ recorded from the 17th century. It is probably the source of tip in the sense of ‘a useful piece of advice’. Tip here means simply ‘to give, allow to have’—its use in sentences like ‘tip me a shilling’ led to the modern sense of tip, ‘a sum of money given as a reward for good service’, found from the mid 18th century. See also nod

Words that rhyme with wink

bethink, blink, brink, cinque, clink, dink, drink, fink, Frink, gink, ink, interlink, jink, kink, link, mink, pink, plink, prink, rink, shrink, sink, skink, slink, stink, sync, think, zinc

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Line breaks: wink

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