1 [wingk]
verb (used without object)
to close and open one or both eyes quickly.
to close and open one eye quickly as a hint or signal or with some sly meaning (often followed by at ): She winked at him across the room.
(of the eyes) to close and open thus; blink.
to shine with little flashes of light; twinkle: The city lights winked in the distance.
verb (used with object)
to close and open (one or both eyes) quickly; execute or give (a wink).
to drive or force by winking (usually followed by back or away ): She attempted to wink back the tears.
to signal or convey by a wink.
an act of winking.
a winking movement, especially of one eye in giving a hint or signal.
a hint or signal given by winking.
the time required for winking once; an instant or twinkling: I'll be there in a wink.
a little flash of light; twinkle.
the least bit: I didn't sleep a wink last night.
Verb phrases
wink at, to ignore deliberately, as to avoid the necessity of taking action: to wink at minor offenses.

before 900; (v.) Middle English winken, Old English wincian; cognate with German winken to wave, signal; (noun) Middle English: nap, derivative of the v.

winkingly, adverb
unwinking, adjective

1. Wink, blink refer to rapid motions of the eyelid. To wink is to close and open either one or both eyelids with a rapid motion. To blink suggests a sleepy, dazed, or dazzled condition in which it is difficult to focus the eyes or see clearly: Bright sun makes one blink. 4. sparkle. Unabridged


2 [wingk]
noun Games.
a disk or similar small object used in tiddlywinks.

1890–95; extracted from tiddlywinks Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
wink1 (wɪŋk)
1.  (intr) to close and open one eye quickly, deliberately, or in an exaggerated fashion to convey friendliness, etc
2.  to close and open (an eye or the eyes) momentarily
3.  (tr; foll by away, back, etc) to force away (tears, etc) by winking
4.  (tr) to signal with a wink
5.  (intr) (of a light) to gleam or flash intermittently
6.  a winking movement, esp one conveying a signal, etc, or such a signal
7.  an interrupted flashing of light
8.  a brief moment of time; instant
9.  informal See also forty winks the smallest amount, esp of sleep
10.  informal (Brit) tip the wink to give a hint
[Old English wincian; related to Old Saxon wincon, Old High German winchan, German winken to wave. See wench, winch]

wink2 (wɪŋk)
a disc used in the game of tiddlywinks
[C20: shortened from tiddlywinks]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. wincian "to nod, wink," from P.Gmc. *wenkanan (cf. Du. wenken, O.H.G. winkan, Ger. winken), a gradational variant of the root of O.H.G. wankon "to stagger, totter," O.N. vakka "to stray, hover," from PIE *weng- "to bend, curve." The meaning "close an eye as a hint or signal" is first recorded c.1100;
that of "close one's eyes to fault or irregularity" first attested c.1480. The noun is recorded from c.1300; meaning "very brief moment of time" is attested from 1585.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

wink (wĭngk)
v. winked, wink·ing, winks

  1. To close and open the eyelid of one eye deliberately, as to convey a message, signal, or suggestion.

  2. To close and open the eyelids of both eyes; blink.

A quick closing and opening of the eyelids; a blink.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
windowed eat-in kitchen
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idiom beginning with wink, also see forty winks; quick as a wink; sleep a wink.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Does it mean a bedroom community or agricultural interests wink wink are engaged.
The odd thing is, no one has turned on a flashlight, and no streetlights or house lights wink on around them.
It's a difficult song, she remembered all the lyrics, and she didn't wink or twirl her skirt at the end.
In the wink of an eye, insomnia slips from thought to obsession, from earnest
  doubt to pitiless masochism and misanthropy.
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