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drop a hint

To allude to something in a subtle way; to give an indication of something without entirely saying it. Phil can be a little dense, so just tell him what you want for your birthday—you'll never get it if you only drop a hint.
See also: drop, hint

hint (something) to (someone)

To indirectly suggest or insinuate something to someone. If you've got a problem with me, please don't hint it to my boss—just talk to me. I tried hinting my interest in Joe to his best friend, but it doesn't seem to have done any good.
See also: hint, to

hint at (something)

To indirectly suggest or insinuate something. And what exactly are you hinting at? If you have something to say, just say it! I tried hinting at my interest in Joe, but he's just not picking up any of my signals.
See also: hint

hint for (something)

To indirectly suggest or insinuate one's desire for or interest in something. You can hint for extra credit all you want, but you're not getting it. Are you hinting for some help?
See also: for, hint

Irish hint

A straightforward statement. I'm positive I'm getting the promotion—the boss gave me an Irish hint to that effect!
See also: hint, Irish

pick up the hint

To understand, comprehend, or take notice of an indirect suggestion, implication, or insinuation. Halfway through the lecture, I picked up the hint my students were planning some kind of practical joke at the end of class. When are you going to pick up the hint that Sally doesn't want to date you anymore?
See also: hint, pick, up

take a hint

To understand, accept, or act upon a message or direction that has been insinuated or communicated indirectly. Don't worry, I can take a hint. I won't try to hang out with you anymore. I think you need to take a hint and accept the fact that he has no interest in dating you.
See also: hint, take

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

drop a hint

Fig. to give a tiny or careful hint about something. Mary dropped a hint that she wanted a new ring for her birthday.
See also: drop, hint

hint at something

to refer to something; to insinuate something. What are you hinting at? I am not hinting at anything. I am telling you to do it!
See also: hint

hint for something

to give a hint that something is wanted. I could tell she was hinting for an invitation. Are you hinting for a second helping of fried chicken?
See also: for, hint

hint something to someone

to give a hint or clue to someone. I thought she was leaving. She hinted that to me. She wasn't hinting anything to you! You made it all up!
See also: hint, to

take a hint

to understand a hint and behave accordingly. I said I didn't want to see you anymore. Can't you take a hint? I don't like you. Sure I can take a hint, but I'd rather be told directly.
See also: hint, take
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

take a hint

Also, take the hint. Accept an indirect or covert suggestion, as in Evelyn took the hint and quietly left the room. This idiom was first recorded in 1711.
See also: hint, take
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

drop a hint (or drop hints)

let fall a hint or hints, as if casually or unconsciously.
See also: drop, hint
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

drop a ˈhint (to somebody)


drop somebody a ˈhint

suggest something in an indirect way: He tried to drop a hint about it being time to leave, but they didn’t seem to take any notice.She’s dropped me a few hints about what she’d like for her birthday.
See also: drop, hint

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
An inky black beauty, boasting silky blueberry and brambly spiced fruit, it's oak-tinged with hints of cloves and exotic sweet spice on the smooth, glossy finish.
Ray Mamone, the 87-year-old owner of Imperial Hint, was thinking of quitting after investing 42 years of his life in the racing industry.
A sherry bomb of a whisky: Vanilla custard, shortbread biscuit, hints of lemon peel and a rich layer of sherry flavours define this entry level expression from the new Soleo Collection, which features six sherry matured single malts.
It seems like it could be anyone's game to win going into the Season 29 finale of "The Amazing Race." However, some new hints may suggest just which team took home the big prize of $1 million.
Scaffolding can be presented as several ways, among which hints are one of the most useful ways (Devolder, van Braak, & Tondeur, 2012).
David says: "In a nutshell there are 12 tonal variations (hints of colour) within nine tonal families of cream, beige, lilac, pink, sage, aqua, yellow, blue and grey, thus making up the 108.
Sent on the trip north by trainer Andrew Balding, Secret Hint will be having just her sixth career start here, but her efforts to date have marked her a filly who could make a real impact at a reasonable level this term.
And Take a Hint's production takes its audience on a journey to far off lands in the company of a lonely girl, whose Christmas wishes come true with the help of Zagmuth - a kindly inhabitant of the country where the population is terrorised by a witch and her violent winter storms.
Compared to a traditional headset with a microphone that juts out from the ear, the Moto Hint is much more subtle--it looks more like an ear bud than a headset.
M2 EQUITYBITES-September 8, 2014-AT&T to add the new Moto X and Moto Hint to line-up of Motorola devices and accessories
Unfortunately this one utterly failed to impress with a nose of pear drops, melon and a hint of cherry.
“The launch of our exclusive new Hint brand is an important component of this growth we are seeing.”
With gin and juniper berry top notes and a hint of iris and ebony wood, this is a great choice to go with for work and play.
A curiosidade em observar os achados com a tecnologia HINT, para o grupo de normo-ouvintes expostos e nao expostos a ruido ocupacional, partem do estudo em que foi observado pior desempenho, em testes de discriminacao da fala em ruido em grupo de normo-ouvintes expostos a ruido [5].
Addressing party workers, Karunanidhi gave the clearest ever hint, saying "I will work for the cause of uplift of the society till death.