See also: -ink and ink.



A jar of ink (sense 1)

From Middle English ynke, from Old French enque, from Latin encaustum (purple ink used by Roman emperors to sign documents), from Ancient Greek ἔγκαυστον (énkauston, burned-in), from ἐν (en, in) + καίω (kaíō, burn). In this sense, displaced native Old English blæc (ink, literally black).



ink (usually uncountable, plural inks)

  1. A pigment (or dye)-based fluid used for writing, printing etc.
  2. (countable) A particular type, color or container of this fluid.
  3. The black or dark-colored fluid ejected by squid, octopus etc, as a protective strategy.
  4. (slang, uncountable) Publicity.
    Synonyms: ballyhoo, flak, hoopla, hype, plug, spotlight
    The TSA has been getting a lot of ink lately.
    to get ink
    • 1999 June 4, Washington Post:
      [Judith] Hope [] has been getting ink by the barrelful with her regular interviews quoting conversations with the first lady, on subjects ranging from Senate ambitions to summer and post-White House living arrangements.
  5. (slang, uncountable) Tattoo work.
    Synonym: paint
    • 1998, Richard Dooling, Brain Storm:
      "I saw it hanging on the wall of a tattoo hut where I went to get some ink done ten years ago," he stuttered, flushing in splotches and squirming in his chair.
    • 1998, “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)”, performed by The Offspring:
      Now he's getting a tattoo / Yeah, he's getting ink done / He asked for a 13, / But they drew a 31
  6. (slang) Cheap red wine.

Alternative formsEdit

Derived termsEdit



ink (third-person singular simple present inks, present participle inking, simple past and past participle inked)

  1. (transitive) To apply ink to; to cover or smear with ink.
  2. (transitive) To sign (a contract or similar document).
    • December 13 2021, Molly Ball, Jeffrey Kluger and Alejandro de la Garza, “Elon Musk: Person of the Year 2021”, in Time Magazine[1]:
      Before Musk, America’s space industry was moribund. In 2011, NASA mothballed the last space shuttle, after inking a deal with SpaceX to make uncrewed cargo resupply runs to the International Space Station (ISS).
  3. (transitive) To apply a tattoo to (someone).
  4. (intransitive, of a squid or octopus) to eject ink (sense 3)



See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit




From Dutch inkt.



ink (plural inkte or inke)

  1. ink


ink (present ink, present participle inkende, past participle geïnk)

  1. to ink

Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of inc