Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To make or cause to make a light, sharp ringing sound: clinked their wineglasses together in a toast.
  • n. A light, sharp ringing sound, as of glass or metal.
  • n. Slang A prison or a prison cell; a jail: spent the night in the clink.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The sound of metal on metal, or glass on glass.
  • n. Jail or prison, after the Clink prison in Southwark, London. Used in the phrase in the clink.
  • n. Stress cracks produced in metal ingots as they cool after being cast.
  • v. To make a clinking sound; to make a sound of metal on metal or glass on glass; to strike materials such as metal or glass against one another.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To cause to give out a slight, sharp, tinkling, sound, as by striking metallic or other sonorous bodies together.
  • intransitive v. To give out a slight, sharp, tinkling sound.
  • intransitive v. To rhyme. [Humorous].
  • n. A slight, sharp, tinkling sound, made by the collision of sonorous bodies.
  • n. A prison cell; a lockup; -- probably orig. the name of the noted prison in Southwark, England.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To ring or jingle; chink; give forth a sharp metallic sound, or a succession of such sounds, as small metallic or other sonorous bodies in collision.
  • To cause a clinking sound by striking two objects, as glasses, together.
  • To make a jingle; chime.
  • To cause to produce a sharp, ringing sound: as, to clink glasses in drinking healths.
  • To clench; weld; clasp; seize quickly.
  • n. A sharp, ringing sound made by the collision of sonorous (especially metallic) bodies.
  • n. A smart stroke.
  • n. Money; chink: as, “needfu' clink,”
  • n. A latch.
  • n. A key.
  • n. plural Long iron nails.
  • n. The name of a prison or lockup in Southwark, London, often mentioned in the sixteenth century and later.
  • n. [lowercase] Any prison.

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

  • n. a correctional institution used to detain persons who are in the lawful custody of the government (either accused persons awaiting trial or convicted persons serving a sentence)
  • v. make a high sound typical of glass
  • v. make or emit a high sound
  • n. a short light metallic sound

Etymologies

Middle English clinken, probably from Middle Dutch klinken, of imitative origin.
After Clink, a district of London famous for its prison.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
(onomatopoeia), as metal against metal. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • A woman who acts the part of a tale-bearer. Scots.

    June 25, 2011

  • Clink! Jesus frog! I never realised what a kiss could be!
    You couldn't make it up. In order, the top three most commented on, currently.

    September 16, 2008

  • I like klink. It's just ... better.

    September 15, 2008

  • Now's your chance! :-)

    September 15, 2008

  • And I've got Wort to the Wise, which has various drinks amongst other brewing terms. If you look under porter, you'll find some other beer lists.

    There should be one called What Ales You, however.

    September 15, 2008

  • I've had one too (just for liqueurs), and I'm sure there are others. :-)

    September 14, 2008

  • Someone does now, c_b.

    September 13, 2008

  • Wow. That's so...specific.

    September 13, 2008

  • qroqqa, I refer you to weirdnet's eighth definition.

    September 13, 2008

  • A prison door doesn't go 'clink'. That's a small noise appropriate to wine glasses. Doors, especially big doors, might go 'clank'.

    September 13, 2008

  • The OED has this to say about the second definition of "clink" (the first is the noise, derived from German or Dutch klink):

    "The evidence appears to indicate that the name was proper to the Southwark ‘Clink’, and thence transferred elsewhere; but the converse may have been the fact. If the name was originally descriptive, various senses of clink, e.g. ‘to fasten securely’ (cf. ‘to get the clinch’, CLINCH n. 7), might have given rise to it. Cf. also CLINK n.4
    The name of a noted prison in Southwark; later used elsewhere (esp. in Devon and Cornwall) for a small and dismal prison or prison-cell, a lock-up. Now used generally for: prison, cells."

    And "clinch n.7" says this: "1847 G. W. M. REYNOLDS Myst. London III. xxv. 71/2 Should you do this and get the clinch. 1873 Slang Dict., To get the clinch: to be locked up in jail."

    Also, interestingly, clink can mean "A very small poor ale, brewed chiefly for the use of harvest labourers." Doesn't someone have a list of different kinds of alcohol?

    September 13, 2008

  • It's got to be from the sound of the doors, surely? Probably the street was named for its prison, or it was coincidence.

    September 12, 2008

  • British slang - "Noun. Prison. It is derived either from the name of Clink Street, London, on which a prison was situated, or from the sound of doors locking."
    - peevish.co.uk

    September 12, 2008

  • I like most slang for prisons. I also dig its onomatopoeic property.

    January 18, 2007