The definition of an inkling is a suspicion or a hint.noun
When you kind of suspect that someone is planning a surprise party for you but you are not quite sure, this is an example of an inkling.YourDictionary definition and usage example. Copyright © 2013 by LoveToKnow Corp.
- an indirect suggestion; slight indication; hint
- a vague idea or notion; suspicion
Origin: ME ingkiling < inclen, to give an inkling of
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- A slight hint or indication.
- A slight understanding or vague idea or notion.
Origin: Probably alteration of Middle English (a) ningkiling, (a) hint, suggestion, possibly alteration of nikking, from nikken, to mark a text for correction, from nik, notch, tally, perhaps from variant of Old French niche, niche; see niche.Word History: Inkling has nothing to do with ink, but it may have something to do with niches. Our story begins with the Old French (and Modern French) word niche, meaning “niche.” It is possible that in Old French a variant form existed that was borrowed into Middle English as nik, meaning “a notch, tally.” This word is probably related to the Middle English word nikking, meaning “a hint, slight indication,” or possibly “a whisper, mention.” Nikking appears only once, in a Middle English text composed around 1400. In another copy of the same text the word ningkiling appears, which may be a variant of nikking. This is essentially our word inkling already, the only major change being an instance of what is called false splitting, whereby people understood a ningkiling as an ingkiling. They did the same thing with a napron, getting an apron.