from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of a group of colors reddish in hue, of medium to high lightness, and of low to moderate saturation.
  • noun Any of various plants of the genus Dianthus, such as sweet William, often cultivated for their showy, fragrant, usually pink, red, or white flowers.
  • noun Any of several other plants in the pink family, such as the wild pink.
  • noun A flower of any of these plants.
  • noun The highest or best degree.
  • noun Light-colored trousers formerly worn as part of the winter semidress uniform by US Army officers.
  • noun The scarlet coat worn by fox hunters.
  • noun Slang A pinko.
  • adjective Of the color pink.
  • adjective Slang Having moderately leftist political opinions.
  • noun A small sailing vessel with a sharply narrowed stern and an overhanging transom.
  • transitive verb To stab lightly with a pointed weapon; prick.
  • transitive verb To decorate with a perforated pattern.
  • transitive verb To cut with pinking shears.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A puncture or small hole made by some sharp slender instrument such as a rapier or dagger; a stab-wound.
  • noun A small hole or eyelet punched in silk or other material with a pinking-iron; a scallop.
  • To tinge or dye with a pink color.
  • To wink; peep slyly.
  • To pierce; puncture; stab with a rapier or some similar weapon; make a hole or holes in.
  • To decorate with punctures or holes; tattoo.
  • Specifically
  • 3. To decorate, as any garment or article made of textile fabric or leather, by cutting small holes of regular shape in succession, scallops, loops, etc., at the edge, or elsewhere.
  • To make a hole.
  • noun A vessel or boat with a very narrow stern. Now called pinky.
  • noun A finch; the chaffinch or spink, Fringilla cœlebs.
  • noun A game at cards: the same as post, 11.
  • noun Small: said of the eyes and of other things.
  • noun Same as moss-pink.
  • noun locally, one of several other plants, namely: in Massachusetts, the wild pink, also the fringed polygala (see Polygala, 1); in Illinois, the scarlet painted cup, Castilleja coccinea; in the southeastern States, one of the wake-robins, Trillium stylosum.
  • noun Same as grass-pink (which see, under pink).
  • noun A plant of the bunch-flower family, Helonias bullata, found locally in swamps from southern New York to Virginia, and said also to occur on the higher Alleghanies. Its raceme of purple flowers is borne on a stout scape rising from a tuft of leaves which elongate after flowering-time.
  • A salacious story.
  • noun A plant of the genus Dianthus.
  • noun One of various plants of other genera, with some resemblance to the true pinks. See Lychnis, 2, moss-pink, and phrases below.
  • noun A red color of low chroma but high luminosity, inclining toward purple.
  • noun In painting, any one of several lakes of a yellow or greenish-yellow color, prepared by precipitating vegetable juices on a white base, such as chalk or alumina.
  • noun A red coat or badge, or a person wearing one; specifically, a scarlet hunting-coat.
  • noun A small fish, so called from its color.
  • noun A young grayling.
  • noun A young salmon before its entry into the sea. See cut under parr.
  • noun A flower; in a figurative use, a beauty; hence, the flower or highest type or example of excellence in some particular; a supremely excellent or choice example or type of excellence: as, the pink of perfection.
  • noun Blood.
  • noun Sometimes same as pinkroot, 1 (United States), and cypress-vine (West Indies).
  • Of the color or hue called pink.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Naut.) A vessel with a very narrow stern; -- called also pinky.
  • noun (Naut.) a narrow stern.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To wink; to blink.
  • adjective obsolete Half-shut; winking.


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

[Early Modern English, flower of the genus Dianthus, perhaps from pink, to peer, blink, wink (probably from Dutch pinken, of unknown origin), or from pink (in reference to the jagged edge of the flower's petals ).]

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

[Middle English, from Middle Dutch pinke.]

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

[Middle English pingen, pinken, to push, prick, from Old English pyngan, from Latin pungere; see peuk- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Dutch / Middle English pin(c)ke.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Probably from Low Dutch or Low German; compare Low German pinken ‘hit, peck’.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1733, pink ("pale rose colour"); 1681, pink-coloured. 1570, pink, pinck, common name for the garden plant Dianthus. Precise origin uncertain; perhaps from the notion of the petals being pinked ("pricked") or jagged, from Middle English pinken ("to make figures"), or shortened from pink-eye, from Middle Dutch pinck oogen ("small or half-closed eyes") (compare also French œillet), from Middle Dutch pincken ("to shut the eyes, twinkle, wink").


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  • A sailing vessel with a sharply narrowed and rounded stern and an overhanging square transom, used during the 17th century.

    That, or a color. ;->

    August 3, 2007

  • Or a musician.

    August 4, 2007

  • Indeed.

    August 6, 2007

  • Or a kind of pacific salmon, also called a humpy, or humpies in Southeast Alaska.

    July 8, 2008

  • "To pink - to stab or wound with a small sword; probably derived from the holes formerly cut in both men's and women's clothes, called pinking. Pink of the fashion: top of the mode. To pink and wink: frequently winking the eyes through a weakness in them."

    - Francis Grose, 'The Vulgar Tongue'.

    September 18, 2008