- The definition of an inkling is a suspicion or a hint.
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.
- an indirect suggestion; slight indication; hint
- a vague idea or notion; suspicion
Origin of inklingMiddle English ingkiling ; from inclen, to give an inkling of
- A slight hint or indication.
- A slight understanding or vague idea or notion.
Origin of inklingProbably 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.
- Present participle of inkle.
From Middle English, from 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”).