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”).
- (Received Pronunciation, General American) enPR: ĭngk, IPA(key): /ɪŋk/
- (General American, pre-/ŋ/ tensing), IPA(key): /iŋk/
Audio (GA) (file)
- Homophone: inc.
- Rhymes: -ɪŋk
ink (usually uncountable, plural inks)
- A pigment (or dye)-based fluid used for writing, printing etc.
- 1667 May 6 (date written; Gregorian calendar), Samuel Pepys; Mynors Bright, transcriber, “April 26th, 1667”, in Henry B[enjamin] Wheatley, editor, The Diary of Samuel Pepys […], volume VI, London: George Bell & Sons […]; Cambridge: Deighton Bell & Co., published 1895, →OCLC, page 285:
- While I was waiting for him in the Matted Gallery, a young man was most finely working in Indian inke the great picture of the King and Queen sitting [Charles I of England and Henrietta Maria of France], by Van Dyke [Anthony van Dyck]; and did it very finely.
- (countable) A particular type, color or container of this fluid.
- The black or dark-colored fluid ejected by squid, octopus etc, as a protective strategy.
- (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.
- (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
- (slang) Cheap red wine.
- inke (obsolete)
- bleed red ink
- China ink
- digital ink
- don't dip your pen in company ink
- green-ink brigade
- green ink brigade
- green-ink letter
- India ink, Indian ink
- ink bomb
- ink bottle
- ink converter
- ink dot
- ink eradicator
- ink eraser
- ink fountain
- ink in
- ink isn't dry on
- ink jet
- ink pad
- ink pot
- ink sac
- ink slinger
- ink trap
- ink well
- invisible ink
- octopus ink
- pen and ink
- printer's ink
- printing ink
- red ink
- sling ink
- spill ink
- squid ink
- sympathetic ink
- you don't dip your pen in company ink
- you don't dip your pen in the company's ink
coloured fluid used for writing
dark fluid ejected by squid etc
ink (third-person singular simple present inks, present participle inking, simple past and past participle inked)
- (transitive) To apply ink to; to cover or smear with ink.
- (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:
- 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).
- (transitive) To apply a tattoo to (someone).
- (intransitive, of a squid or octopus) to eject ink (sense 3)
sign a document
apply a tattoo
ink (present ink, present participle inkende, past participle geïnk)
- to ink
- Alternative form of inc