Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To close and open the eyelid of one eye deliberately, as to convey a message, signal, or suggestion.
  • intransitive v. To close and open the eyelids of both eyes; blink. See Synonyms at blink.
  • intransitive v. To shine fitfully; twinkle: Harbor lights were winking in the distance.
  • transitive v. To close and open (an eye or the eyes) rapidly.
  • transitive v. To signal or express by winking.
  • n. The act of winking.
  • n. A signal or hint conveyed by winking.
  • n. The very brief time required for a wink; an instant.
  • n. A quick closing and opening of the eyelids; a blink.
  • n. A gleam or twinkle.
  • n. Informal A brief period of sleep.
  • wink at To pretend not to see: winked at corruption in the ministry.
  • wink out To come to a close; end.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To close one's eyes.
  • v. To turn a blind eye.
  • v. To blink with only one eye as a message, signal, or suggestion.
  • v. To twinkle.
  • v. To send an indication of agreement by winking.
  • n. An act of winking (a blinking of only one eye), or a message sent by winking.
  • n. A brief time; an instant.
  • n. A brief period of sleep; especially forty winks.
  • n. A disc used in the game of tiddlywinks.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of closing, or closing and opening, the eyelids quickly; hence, the time necessary for such an act; a moment.
  • n. A hint given by shutting the eye with a significant cast.
  • intransitive v. To nod; to sleep; to nap.
  • intransitive v. To shut the eyes quickly; to close the eyelids with a quick motion.
  • intransitive v. To close and open the eyelids quickly; to nictitate; to blink.
  • intransitive v. To give a hint by a motion of the eyelids, often those of one eye only.
  • intransitive v. To avoid taking notice, as if by shutting the eyes; to connive at anything; to be tolerant; -- generally with at.
  • intransitive v. To be dim and flicker.
  • transitive v. To cause (the eyes) to wink.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To close and open the eyelids quickly; of the eyes, to be opened and shut quickly; blink; nictitate.
  • To shut the eyes; close the eyelids so as not to see.
  • To be wilfully blind or ignorant; avoid notice or recognition, as of an annoying or troublesome fact; ignore; connive: often followed by at.
  • To close the eyes in sleep; sleep.
  • To convey a hint, wish, insinuation, etc., by a quick shutting and opening usually of one eye.
  • To twinkle; shine with quick, irregular gleams; flash; sparkle.
  • To close and open quickly: as, to wink the eyelids or the eyes.
  • To move, force, or remove by winking: as, to wink back one's tears.
  • n. A quick shutting and opening of the eyelids; especially, such a movement of one eye made as a signal; hence, a hint, insinuation, command, etc., conveyed by or as by winking.
  • n. A nap; sleep.
  • n. The time required for winking once; a very short space of time; a moment: referring usually to sleep.
  • n. A twinkle; a sparkle; a flash.
  • n. A periwinkle. See periwinkle, and first quotation under wash, n., 13.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. gleam or glow intermittently
  • v. force to go away by blinking
  • n. a reflex that closes and opens the eyes rapidly
  • v. briefly shut the eyes
  • v. signal by winking
  • n. a very short time (as the time it takes the eye to blink or the heart to beat)
  • n. closing one eye quickly as a signal

Etymologies

Middle English winken, to close one's eyes, from Old English wincian.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English winken (strong verb) and Middle English winken (weak verb), from Old English *wincan (strong verb) and wincian ("to wink, make a sign, close the eyes, blink", weak verb), from Proto-Germanic *winkanan (“to move side to side, sway”), *winkōnan (“to close one's eyes”), from Proto-Indo-European *weng- (“to bow, bend, arch, curve”). Cognate with Middle Low German winken ("to blink, wink"), German winken ("to nod, beckon, make a sign"). Related also to East Frisian wäänke, Dutch wenken ("to beckon, motion"), Latin vacillare ("sway"), Lithuanian véngti ("to swerve, avoid"), Albanian  (vang, "tire, felloe"), Sanskrit  (vañcati, "he swaggers"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • WeirdNet's definitions of the verb senses seem to confuse winking with blinking.

    November 4, 2008

  • Wow, I have to avoid the front page until this is driven off it.
    ;)

    November 4, 2008

  • Sarah Palin wink

    November 4, 2008

  • -- I plunged a bit, said Boylan winking and drinking.
    Joyce, Ulysses, 11

    January 7, 2007