See also: Hickey


A hickey on the neck.
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  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈhɪk.i/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪki


hickey (plural hickeys)

  1. (US, slang) A bruise-like mark made during petting by pressing the mouth to the skin on one’s partner’s body and sucking. [from 1934]
    Synonyms: love bite, lovebite, knot
  2. (informal, slang) An object whose name is unknown or cannot be recalled. [from 1909]
  3. (printing) A printing defect caused by foreign matter on the printing surface resulting in a ring where the ink is missing, appearing as a spot of ink surrounded by a halo, or as an unprinted spot within a solid printed area.
  4. (printing, informal) A serif or other ornamentation on type.
    • 2008, American Printer (volume 125, page 63)
      Years ago, there were internal company standards for dark center (ink color) hickeys and for white voids in solids/type.
    • 2018, Paul W. Ross, Revival: The Handbook of Software for Engineers and Scientists
      It is generally believed, by those who study such things, that serif typefaces are easier to read when reading a lot of words. The hickeys (serifs) on each letter tend to push our eye toward the next letter.
  5. Local swelling in a tissue area, especially skin, often due to injury. [from 1915]
  6. A tool for making smooth, semicircular bends in conduit and pipe.
    Synonym: conduit bender
  7. (US, slang, business, finance) An unintended negative outcome or loss in regards to a deal or action, often preceded by the words "taking a ..." or "took a ... ".
    Farmer Jones took a hickey on his soybean crop when the flood washed the seeds away.


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