1 [pingk]
a color varying from light crimson to pale reddish purple.
any of several plants of the genus Dianthus, as the clove pink or carnation. Compare pink family.
the flower of such a plant; carnation.
the highest form or degree; prime: a runner in the pink of condition.
(often initial capital letter) . Also, pinko. Slang: Disparaging. a person with left-wing, but not extreme, political opinions.
Business Informal. a carbon copy, as of a sales slip or invoice, made on pink tissue paper.
Fox Hunting. pink coat.
pinkish-tan gabardine trousers formerly worn by military officers as part of the dress uniform.
the scarlet color of hunting pinks.
adjective, pinker, pinkest.
of the color pink: pink marble.
Slang: Disparaging. holding, or regarded as holding, mildly leftist views, especially in politics.
tickled pink. tickle ( def 10 ).

1565–75; origin uncertain

pinkness, noun Unabridged


2 [pingk]
verb (used with object)
to pierce with a rapier or the like; stab.
to finish at the edge with a scalloped, notched, or other ornamental pattern.
to punch (cloth, leather, etc.) with small holes or figures for ornament.
Chiefly British Dialect. to adorn or ornament, especially with scalloped edges or a punched-out pattern.

1275–1325; Middle English pynken to prick, derivative of Old English pinca point, itself derivative of pinn pin


3 [pingk]
a vessel with a pink stern.
Also, pinky.
Compare pink stern.

1425–75; late Middle English pinck < Middle Dutch pinke fishing boat Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pink1 (pɪŋk)
1.  any of a group of colours with a reddish hue that are of low to moderate saturation and can usually reflect or transmit a large amount of light; a pale reddish tint
2.  pink cloth or clothing: dressed in pink
3.  See also carnation any of various Old World plants of the caryophyllaceous genus Dianthus, such as D. plumarius (garden pink), cultivated for their fragrant flowers
4.  any of various plants of other genera, such as the moss pink
5.  the flower of any of these plants
6.  the highest or best degree, condition, etc (esp in the phrases in the pink of health, in the pink)
7.  a.  a huntsman's scarlet coat
 b.  a huntsman who wears a scarlet coat
8.  of the colour pink
9.  informal (Brit) left-wing
10.  derogatory (US)
 a.  sympathetic to or influenced by Communism
 b.  leftist or radical, esp half-heartedly
11.  informal of or relating to homosexuals or homosexuality: the pink vote
12.  (of a huntsman's coat) scarlet or red
13.  (intr) another word for knock
[C16 (the flower), C18 (the colour): perhaps a shortening of pinkeye]

pink2 (pɪŋk)
1.  to prick lightly with a sword or rapier
2.  to decorate (leather, cloth, etc) with a perforated or punched pattern
3.  to cut with pinking shears
[C14: perhaps of Low German origin; compare Low German pinken to peck]

pink3 (pɪŋk)
a sailing vessel with a narrow overhanging transom
[C15: from Middle Dutch pinke, of obscure origin]

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

1570s, common name of Dianthus, a garden plant of various colors. Attribution to "pale rose color" first recorded 1733 (pink-coloured is recorded from 1681). The plant name is perhaps from pink (v.) via notion of "perforated" petals, or from Du. pink "small" (see pinkie),
from the term pinck oogen "half-closed eyes," lit. "small eyes," which was borrowed into Eng. (1575) and may have been used as a name for Dianthus, which sometimes has pale red flowers. The flower meaning led to a figurative use for "the flower" or finest example of anything (e.g. Mercutio's "Nay, I am the very pinck of curtesie," Rom. & Jul. II.iv.61). Pink slip "discharge notice" is first recorded 1915. Pink-eye "contagious eye infection" first recorded 1882, Amer.Eng. Pink collar in reference to jobs generally held by women first attested 1977. To see pink elephants "hallucinate from alcoholism" first recorded 1913 in Jack London's "John Barleycorn."

c.1307, "pierce, stab, make holes in," perhaps from a Romanic stem *pinc- (cf. Fr. piquer, Sp. picar), from L. pungere "to pierce, prick" (see pungent). Surviving mainly in pinking shears.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see in the pink; tickled pink.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


any of several flowering plants of the genus Dianthus in the pink family (Caryophyllaceae), grown widely in garden borders. The approximately 300 species in the genus are nearly all natives of the Eastern Hemisphere and are found chiefly in the Mediterranean region. They are mostly short herbaceous perennials, many of which are tufted or mat-forming hardy evergreens, often with very showy flowers. There are also some annual forms. Especially noteworthy are the fragrant-flowered grass, or cottage, pink (D. plumarius); maiden, or meadow, pink (D. deltoides); and rainbow, or China, pink (D. chinensis). Most pinks are suited to rock gardens. The small but showy and often fragrant flowers are mostly pink to deep rose, some being red, purple, white, or yellow. Pinks are widely grown in American and European gardens, being of relatively easy culture. Both annual and perennial Dianthus species may be grown from seed sown in the spring in ordinary moist garden soil in a sunny location. The perennials will bloom the following summer and may be increased by cuttings or division of clumps.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The ovaries are of a grayish-pink color, and present either a smooth or a puckered uneven surface.
The flamingo's bright pink coloration comes from its diet-animals can't
  synthesize the carotenoids that color these feathers.
Gram negative bacteria would be pink in color, and are capable of harm as well
  to a human being.
Spongy-brained, bitter over the astounding growth of organics, and a curious
  pink color.
Idioms & Phrases
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