AskDefine | Define wink

The Collaborative Dictionary

Wink \Wink\, v. t. To cause (the eyes) to wink.[Colloq.] [1913 Webster]
Wink \Wink\, n.
The act of closing, or closing and opening, the eyelids quickly; hence, the time necessary for such an act; a moment. [1913 Webster] I have not slept one wink. --Shak. [1913 Webster] I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink. --Donne. [1913 Webster]
A hint given by shutting the eye with a significant cast. --Sir. P. Sidney. [1913 Webster] The stockjobber thus from Change Alley goes down, And tips you, the freeman, a wink. --Swift. [1913 Webster]
Wink \Wink\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Winked; p. pr. & vb. n. Winking.] [OE. winken, AS. wincian; akin to D. wenken, G. winken to wink, nod, beckon, OHG. winchan, Sw. vinka, Dan. vinke, AS. wancol wavering, OHG. wanchal wavering, wanch?n to waver, G. wanken, and perhaps to E. weak; cf. AS. wincel a corner. Cf. Wench, Wince, v. i.] [1913 Webster]
To nod; to sleep; to nap. [Obs.] "Although I wake or wink." --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]
To shut the eyes quickly; to close the eyelids with a quick motion. [1913 Webster] He must wink, so loud he would cry. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] And I will wink, so shall the day seem night. --Shak. [1913 Webster] They are not blind, but they wink. --Tillotson. [1913 Webster]
To close and open the eyelids quickly; to nictitate; to blink. [1913 Webster] A baby of some three months old, who winked, and turned aside its little face from the too vivid light of day. --Hawthorne. [1913 Webster]
To give a hint by a motion of the eyelids, often those of one eye only. [1913 Webster] Wink at the footman to leave him without a plate. --Swift. [1913 Webster]
To avoid taking notice, as if by shutting the eyes; to connive at anything; to be tolerant; -- generally with at. [1913 Webster] The times of this ignorance God winked at. --Acts xvii.
[1913 Webster] And yet, as though he knew it not, His knowledge winks, and lets his humors reign. --Herbert. [1913 Webster] Obstinacy can not be winked at, but must be subdued. --Locke. [1913 Webster]
To be dim and flicker; as, the light winks. [1913 Webster] Winking monkey (Zool.), the white-nosed monkey (Cersopithecus nictitans). [1913 Webster]

Word Net



1 a very short time (as the time it takes the eye blink or the heart to beat); "if I had the chance I'd do it in a flash" [syn: blink of an eye, flash, heartbeat, instant, jiffy, split second, trice, twinkling, New York minute]
2 closing one eye quickly as a signal
3 a reflex that closes and opens the eyes rapidly [syn: blink, eye blink, blinking, winking, nictitation, nictation]


1 signal by winking; "She winked at him"
2 gleam or glow intermittently; "The lights were flashing" [syn: flash, blink, twinkle, winkle]
3 briefly shut the eyes; "The TV announcer never seems to blink" [syn: blink, nictitate, nictate]
4 force to go away by blinking; "blink away tears" [syn: blink, blink away]

Moby Thesaurus

Roman candle, aid to navigation, alarm, amber light, balefire, bat, bat the eyes, beacon, beacon fire, beat the drum, bell, bell buoy, blanket drill, blink, blinker, blue peter, breath, broad hint, buoy, cast, cat nap, caution light, clue, coup, crack, cue, dash, dip, exchange colors, flag, flag down, flare, flash, flutter, fog bell, fog signal, fog whistle, foghorn, forty winks, gentle hint, gesture, give a signal, give the nod, glance, glimmer, glimmering, glimpse, go light, gong buoy, green light, hail, hail and speak, half a jiffy, half a mo, half a second, half a shake, half an eye, half-mast, heliograph, high sign, hint, hoist a banner, implication, index, indication, inkling, innuendo, insinuation, instant, international alphabet flag, international numeral pennant, intimation, jiff, jiffy, kick, leer, look, make a sign, marker beacon, microsecond, millisecond, minute, moment, nap, nictitate, nod, nudge, parachute flare, peek, peep, pilot flag, poke, police whistle, prompt, quarantine flag, quick sight, radio beacon, raise a cry, rapid glance, red flag, red light, rocket, sailing aid, salute, scent, sec, second, semaphore, semaphore flag, semaphore telegraph, shade, shake, siesta, sign, signal, signal beacon, signal bell, signal fire, signal flag, signal gong, signal gun, signal lamp, signal light, signal mast, signal post, signal rocket, signal shot, signal siren, signal tower, signalize, slant, smack, snooze, sound an alarm, sound the trumpet, soupcon, spar buoy, speak, split second, spoor, spot of sleep, squinch, squint, squiz, stop light, stroke, suggestion, suspicion, symptom, telltale, the nod, the wink, tick, touch, trace, track, traffic light, traffic signal, trice, twink, twinkle, twinkling, twitch, two shakes, unfurl a flag, watch fire, wave, wave a flag, wave the hand, whisper, white flag, wigwag, wigwag flag, wink of sleep, yellow flag
see Wink



  • /ˈwɪŋk/, /"wINk/
  • Rhymes: -ɪŋk


  1. To blink with only one eye as a message, signal, or suggestion.
  2. To twinkle.
  3. To send an indication of agreement by winking.


To blink with only one eye as a message, signal, or suggestion
To twinkle
To send an indication of agreement by winking

Translations to be checked


  1. An act of winking (a blinking of only one eye), or a message sent by winking.
  2. A brief time; an instant.
  3. A brief period of sleep; especially forty winks.
  4. A disc used in the game of tiddlywinks.


a blink
an instant
a period of sleep - see idiom forty winks
game piece

Translations to be checked

The wink is an intentional facial expression made by briefly closing one or both eyes. To wink is to close and open either one or both eyelids with a rapid motion; to blink suggests a sleepy, dazed, or dazzled condition in which it is difficult to focus the eyes or see clearly. A wink is a form of semi-formal communication, which indicates shared, unspoken knowledge.
A "naughty wink" can silently indicate a shared secret, such as if a salesperson gives a customer a brochure and says, "Here you go; it's free". Infrequently, it may also mean "got it" or "yes, I understand".
In Western cultures, women may wink to men they are interested in dating, but this has grown out of fashion, though still used occasionally. Winking is also done by men to women, often to convey a message of "I like what I see here" or "Hello, I am interested in getting to know you" and also to communicate explicit sexual intentions.
In Latin American cultures, winking is also a romantic or sexual invitation, but can also be used a casual sign of recognition or of acceptance of behavior among friends. In Nigeria, winking is a signal for children to leave the room. Many Asians, especially Chinese and Indian women, consider winking to be rude.
Not all humans are able to wink voluntarily, and some can only wink one (usually the non-dominant) eye but not the other, while others are far better at winking one eye and find it awkward to wink the other.

See also


wink in Persian: چشمک زدن
wink in French: Clin d'œil
wink in Finnish: Silmänisku
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