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

  • n. A jointed or flexible device that allows the turning or pivoting of a part, such as a door or lid, on a stationary frame.
  • n. A similar structure or part, such as one that enables the valves of a bivalve mollusk to open and close.
  • n. A small folded paper rectangle gummed on one side, used especially to fasten stamps in an album.
  • n. A point or circumstance on which subsequent events depend.
  • transitive v. To attach by or equip with or as if with hinges or a hinge.
  • transitive v. To consider or make (something) dependent on something else; predicate: "convenient and misleading fictions for hinging an argument” ( Stephen Jay Gould).
  • intransitive v. To be contingent on a single factor; depend: This plan hinges on her approval.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A jointed or flexible device that allows the pivoting of a door etc. See also pintel.
  • n. A stamp hinge, a folded and gummed paper rectangle for affixing postage stamps in an album.
  • n. A point in time, on which subsequent events depend.
  • n. The median of the upper or lower half of a batch, sample, or probability distribution.
  • v. To attach by, or equip with a hinge.
  • v. To depend on something.
  • v. archaeology The breaking off of the distal end of a knapped stone flake whose presumed course across the face of the stone core was truncated prematurely, leaving not a feathered distal end but instead the scar of a nearly perpendicular break.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The hook with its eye, or the joint, on which a door, gate, lid, etc., turns or swings; a flexible piece, as a strip of leather, which serves as a joint to turn on.
  • n. That on which anything turns or depends; a governing principle; a cardinal point or rule.
  • n. One of the four cardinal points, east, west, north, or south.
  • intransitive v. To stand, depend, hang, or turn, as on a hinge; to depend chiefly for a result or decision or for force and validity; -- usually with on or upon.
  • transitive v. To attach by, or furnish with, hinges.
  • transitive v. To bend.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To furnish with hinges; join by means of hinges, literally or figuratively.
  • To bend the hinge or hinges of.
  • Figuratively, to cause to depend: as, to hinge one's acceptance upon some future event.
  • To stand, depend, or turn on or as if on a hinge: chiefly figurative.
  • n. An artificial movable joint; a device for joining two pieces in such a manner that one may be turned upon the other; the articulation of a door, gate, shutter, lid, etc., to its support, or of two equally movable parts, as of a fire-screen, to each other.
  • n. A natural movable joint; an anatomical articulation turning in a single plane, as that of the knee or of a bivalve shell. See hinge-joint, and cut under bivalve.
  • n. Figuratively, that on which anything depends or turns; a cardinal or controlling principle, rule, or point.
  • n. One of the cardinal points, north, south, east, or west.
  • n. In entomology, the cardo or basal part of the maxilla. See cut under Insecta.
  • n. In botany, the flexible lamella of the guard-cells of a stoma which renders them mobile.

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

  • v. attach with a hinge
  • n. a circumstance upon which subsequent events depend
  • n. a joint that holds two parts together so that one can swing relative to the other


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

Middle English henge.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English henge, from Old English *henge, compare Old English henge- in hengeclif ("overhanging cliff"), hengen ("hanging"). Akin to Low German henge ("a hook, hinge, handle"), Middle Dutch henghe, hanghe ("a hook, hinge, handle"), Dutch hengel ("hook"), geheng ("hinge"), hengsel ("hinge"), German dialectal hängel ("hook, joint"), German Henkel ("handle, hook"), Old English hōn ("to hang"), hangian ("to cause to hang, hang up"). More at hang.



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  • The liver and pluck of a sheep for dogs' meat. --old provincial term from the west of England. Grose's A Provincial Glossary, 1787.

    May 5, 2011

  • In stamp collecting, a small, rectangular-shaped piece of glassine paper, usually with adhesive on one side. When folded with the adhesive side out, the hinge is used to mount stamps. Most modern hinges are peelable, and once dry, they may be easily removed from the stamp, leaving little trace of having been applied.

    August 25, 2008

  • cardinal=hinge

    (in one sense of the word)

    September 30, 2007

  • In the rare/antique book biz, the joint (outer or inner) of the binding of a book (the part that bends when you open the book).

    February 21, 2007