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See also: Clink



  • IPA(key): /klɪŋk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪŋk

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English clinken, from Old English *clincan (compare clynnan, clynian (to sound; resound)), from Proto-Germanic *klinganą (to sound). Cognates include Middle Dutch klinken and German klingen. Doublet of call.

Perhaps of onomatopoeic origin, as metal against metal.


clink (plural clinks)

  1. (onomatopoeia) The sound of metal on metal, or glass on glass.
    You could hear the clink of the glasses from the next room.
    • 1874, Marcus Clarke, For the Term of His Natural Life Chapter V
      When Frere had come down, an hour before, the prisoners were all snugly between their blankets. They were not so now; though, at the first clink of the bolts, they would be back again in their old positions, to all appearances sound asleep.


clink (third-person singular simple present clinks, present participle clinking, simple past and past participle clinked)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To make a clinking sound; to make a sound of metal on metal or glass on glass; to strike materials such as metal or glass against one another.
    The hammers clinked on the stone all night.
    • (Can we date this quote by Tennyson and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      the clinking latch
  2. (humorous, dated) To rhyme.

Etymology 2[edit]

From the Clink prison in Southwark, London, itself presumably named after sound of doors being bolted or chains rattling.


clink (plural clinks)

  1. (slang) A prison.
    If he keeps doing things like that, he’s sure to end up in the clink.
  2. Stress cracks produced in metal ingots as they cool after being cast.

Etymology 3[edit]


clink (third-person singular simple present clinches, present participle clinching, simple past and past participle clinched)

  1. (transitive, Scotland) To clinch; to rivet.