From Middle English henge, from Old English *henge (“hinge”), compare Old English henge- in hengeclif (“overhanging cliff”), Old English hengen (“hanging; that upon which a thing is hung”). Akin to Scots heenge (“hinge”), Saterland Frisian Hänge (“hinge”), Dutch heng (“door handle”), Low German henge (“a hook, hinge, handle”), Middle Dutch henghe, hanghe (“a hook, hinge, handle”), Scots hingel (“any attachment by which something is hung or fastened”), Dutch hengel (“hook”), geheng (“hinge”), hengsel (“hinge”), German dialectal hängel (“hook, joint”), German Henkel (“handle, hook”), Old English hōn (“to hang”), hangian (“to cause to hang, hang up”). More at hang.
hinge (plural hinges)
- A jointed or flexible device that allows the pivoting of a door etc. See also pintel.
- A stamp hinge, a folded and gummed paper rectangle for affixing postage stamps in an album.
- A principle, or a point in time, on which subsequent reasonings or events depend.
- This argument was the hinge on which the question turned.
- (statistics) The median of the upper or lower half of a batch, sample, or probability distribution.
- One of the four cardinal points, east, west, north, or south.
- When the moon is in the hinge at East.
- Nor slept the winds / Within their stony caves, but rush'd abroad / From the four hinges of the world.
- (transitive) To attach by, or equip with a hinge.
- (intransitive) To depend on something.
- (transitive) archaeology The breaking off of the distal end of a knapped stone flake whose presumed course across the face of the stone core was truncated prematurely, leaving not a feathered distal end but instead the scar of a nearly perpendicular break.
- The flake hinged at an inclusion in the core.
- (obsolete) To bend.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
- first- and third-person singular subjunctive past of hängen