take the hint

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take the hint

To understand, accept, or act upon a message or direction that has been insinuated or communicated indirectly. After an hour or so of being ignored, Jeremy finally took the hint and left the party. I think you need to take the hint and accept the fact that he has no interest in dating you.
See also: hint, take

take a/the ˈhint

understand what somebody wants you to do, even though they tell you in an indirect way: She yawned and said, ‘Goodness, it’s late.’ ‘OK,’ said Pete, ‘I can take a hint. I’ll go now.’Sarah hoped he’d take the hint and leave her alone.
See also: hint, take
References in periodicals archive ?
He took the hint and lashed a shot from 20 yards which ballooned up off Baines before dropping over the head of Pollitt, the Wigan goalkeeper then pushing the ball over the line in a vain attempt to keep it out.
Martin Pipe advised punters to back him to be top trainer at the Cheltenham Open meeting and those who took the hint were counting their money come Saturday night.
Saeed Bin Suroor does not have many runners at this track and those who took the hint and backed the daughter Singspiel were rewarded with a smooth victory.
Bookmakers Coral took the hint by cutting his big race odds to 5-1 from 6-1.
The businessmen probably were "boring and mediocre" but Globe staffers took the hint.
A couple of years further on her half-brother Monsieur Royale did exactly the same for the same connections - and punters took the hint as he was backed into 13-8 favourite before coming home a comfortable four-length winner in first-time headgear.
Dettori opted out of the Shergar Cup to stay home at Newmarket and punters who took the hint were rewarded by a runaway winner in Discourse.
John Jenkins made a rare visit to Chepstow yesterday and those who took the hint were rewarded with 8-1 winner Proud Killer in the Army Benevolent Fund Maiden Stakes.
Matthew Palmer took the hint and batted for more than an hour to finish on 14 no as the Hall's rear guard action took them to 124-7 in 53 overs to salvage a draw in a 7-2 points split in New Brighton's favour.
Fallon has an impressive strike-rate when teaming up with Rod Millman, and punters who took the hint were rewarded when Balearic Star gained a hard-fought success in the eight and a half-furlong Finespreads Handicap.
Dean,better known to soap fans as Albert Square's own dimwit Robbie Jackson, took the hint and headed for the Newz Bar.
GLOBE-trotting trainer Jeremy Noseda doesn't send many raiders to Scotland and professional punters took the hint at Musselburgh on Thursday.
She had opened her gate in the hope it would leave, and the bear took the hint, ambling around her car and into the street.
She took the hint, bent her head over her knitting, started picking out dropped stitches.
After Johnny Murtagh gave up his ambitious St Leger double plan to dash from Doncaster after riding Ursa Major to be on Royal Diamond in the Irish St Leger, punters took the hint.