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

  • intransitive verb To close and open the eyelid of one eye deliberately, as to convey a message, signal, or suggestion.
  • intransitive verb To close and open the eyelids of both eyes; blink.
  • intransitive verb To shine fitfully; twinkle.
  • intransitive verb To close and open (an eye or the eyes) rapidly.
  • intransitive verb To signal or express by winking.
  • noun The act of winking.
  • noun A signal or hint conveyed by winking.
  • noun The very brief time required for a wink; an instant.
  • noun A quick closing and opening of the eyelids; a blink.
  • noun A gleam or twinkle.
  • noun Informal A brief period of sleep.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A periwinkle. See periwinkle, and first quotation under wash, n., 13.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A nap; sleep.
  • noun The time required for winking once; a very short space of time; a moment: referring usually to sleep.
  • noun A twinkle; a sparkle; a flash.
  • 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.

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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • verb gleam or glow intermittently
  • verb force to go away by blinking
  • noun a reflex that closes and opens the eyes rapidly
  • verb briefly shut the eyes


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

[Middle English winken, to close one's eyes, from Old English wincian.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").



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

    Joyce, Ulysses, 11

    January 7, 2007

  • November 4, 2008

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


    November 4, 2008

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

    November 4, 2008