From Middle English inklen, inclen (“to give an inkling of, hint at, mention, utter in an undertone”), from inke (“apprehension, misgiving”), from Old English inca (“doubt, suspicion”), from Proto-Germanic *inkô (“ache, regret”), from Proto-Indo-European *yenǵ- (“illness”). Cognate with Old Frisian jinc (“angered”), Old Norse ekki (“pain, grief”), Norwegian ekkje (“lack, pity”).
inkling (plural inklings)
- A slight suspicion or hint.
- 1976, Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, Kindle edition, OUP Oxford, published 2016, page 1:
- Living organisms had existed on earth, without ever knowing why, for over three thousand million years before the truth finally dawned on one of them. His name was Charles Darwin. To be fair, others had had inklings of the truth, but it was Darwin who first put together a coherent and tenable account of why we exist.
- (dialectal) Inclination, desire.