a slight knowledge of something that is happening or about to happen synonym suspicion inkling (of something) He had no inkling of what was going on. inkling (that…) The first inkling I had that something was wrong was when I found the front door wide open. Word Origin late Middle English (in the sense ‘a mention in an undertone, a hint’): from the rare verb inkle ‘utter in an undertone’, of unknown origin.Extra examples The first inkling we had of Cliff’s problem was when he didn’t come to work. We didn’t have the slightest inkling of the dramatic news we were about to hear. He didn’t have the slightest inkling of what was going on. I had some vague inkling of what she must have gone through.