When you wink, you quickly close and open one eye. Sometimes a wink indicates a joke, a secret, or affection — and sometimes it just means you got something in your eye.

Whenever your jokester uncle winks at you, it's like a private signal letting you know that the next thing he says will be a tall tale. Your best friend's wink might mean "Can you believe what the math teacher just said?" A wink is an often humorous way to communicate without speaking — but it requires some understanding between the winker and the person seeing the wink. Otherwise, it's nothing but an eye twitch.

Definitions of wink

n a reflex that closes and opens the eyes rapidly

blink, blinking, eye blink, nictation, nictitation, winking
repeated blinking or winking (especially if uncontrolled and persistent)
Type of:
inborn reflex, innate reflex, instinctive reflex, physiological reaction, reflex, reflex action, reflex response, unconditioned reflex
an automatic instinctive unlearned reaction to a stimulus

n closing one eye quickly as a signal

Type of:
facial expression, facial gesture
a gesture executed with the facial muscles

n a very short time (as the time it takes the eye to blink or the heart to beat)

New York minute, blink of an eye, flash, heartbeat, instant, jiffy, split second, trice, twinkling
Type of:
bit, minute, mo, moment, second
an indefinitely short time

v briefly shut the eyes

blink, nictate, nictitate
wink or blink, especially repeatedly
bat, flutter
wink briefly
Type of:
act involuntarily, act reflexively
act in an uncontrolled manner

v force to go away by blinking

blink, blink away
Type of:
conquer, curb, inhibit, stamp down, subdue, suppress
to put down by force or authority

v signal by winking

“She winked at him”
Type of:
gesticulate, gesture, motion
show, express, or direct through movement

v gleam or glow intermittently

blink, flash, twinkle, winkle
flick, flicker
flash intermittently
Type of:
cause to be seen by emitting light as if in rays

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