Definition of hint noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//hɪnt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//hɪnt//
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  1. 1something that you say or do in an indirect way in order to show somebody what you are thinking He gave a broad hint (= one that was obvious) that he was thinking of retiring. Should I drop a hint (= give a hint) to Matt? He resented any hint that he might be to blame.
  2. 2something that suggests what will happen in the future synonym sign At the first hint of trouble, they left. The opening scene gives us a hint of things to come.
  3. 3[usually singular] hint (of something) a small amount of something synonym suggestion, trace a hint of a smile There was more than a hint of sadness in his voice. The walls were painted white with a hint of peach. Gail searched his face for the slightest hint of regret.
  4. 4[usually plural] hint (on something) a small piece of practical information or advice synonym tip handy hints on saving money The teacher’s book gives useful hints on how to develop reading skills.
  5. Word Originearly 17th cent. (in the sense ‘occasion, opportunity’): apparently from obsolete hent ‘grasp, get hold of’, from Old English hentan, of Germanic origin; related to hunt. The basic notion is “something that may be taken advantage of”.Extra examples At the first hint of trouble, I will call the police. Can’t you take a hint and leave me alone? Do I detect a hint of jealousy in your voice? He gave a broad hint that he was on the verge of leaving. He showed not a hint of remorse. Her voice betrayed a hint of uneasiness. I dropped a few subtle hints about the payment being due. Is that a hint to me to leave? OK, I get the hint! She felt the first hint of panic as the train pulled into the station. The book gives some useful hints about how to plan your garden. The slightest hint of gossip upset her. There was a hint of amusement in his voice. There were early hints that their marriage might be in trouble. a book full of handy hints on painting and decorating a dish with a strong hint of garlic a hint from my boss about my absences from the office ‘It won’t take long,’ he persisted, without the slightest hint of apology. He vowed that no hint of scandal would ever be attached to him. Her eyes held a hint of mockery. It gives handy hints about what to buy at the local market. That was the first hint we had that things were going wrong. The teacher’s book gives useful hints on how to develop reading skills. The walls were painted with a hint of peach.Idioms to understand what somebody wants you to do even though they tell you in an indirect way I thought they'd never go—some people just can't take a hint. Sarah hoped he'd take the hint and leave her alone.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: hint

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