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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 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

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

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

drop a hint

To allude to something. 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

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: 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

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

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

drop a hint (or drop hints)

let fall a hint or hints, as if casually or unconsciously.
See also: drop, hint

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
References in periodicals archive ?
HINT is made possible by a grant from the Nathan Cummings Foundation.
The West Yorkshire venue breaks new ground by racing on the level but the decision has paid rich dividends as there is a welter of runners declared and Secret Hint could prove to be a class act.
Take a Hint was founded two years ago by graduates from Liverpool Hope, and also put on a Christmas show at the Blundell Street theatre - Scarlett's Secret Snowflake - in 2012.
com , the Hint is a miniature Bluetooth headset that sits comfortably in the ear.
Hint Water named along with other notable innovative companies including Apple, Facebook, Airbnb & Ted Baker.
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.
Unfortunately this one utterly failed to impress with a nose of pear drops, melon and a hint of cherry.
1]ndelag University College HiNT and Molde University College HiMolde , hereinafter called the contracting authority.
8220;The launch of our exclusive new Hint brand is an important component of this growth we are seeing.
V8 100% Vegetable Juice Adds Hint of Lime and Hint of Black Pepper Varieties
But this Brussels pat was labelled "Brussels Pat with Garlic: A smooth pork liver pat with a hint of garlic.
Just in time for summer, Heinz has announced an addition to its popular Deli Mayo range with the launch of Deli Mayo with a Hint of Chilli.
The attention-grabbing new branding features the original You Are What You Eat logo, followed by Nature with a hint of Exotic and Nature with a hint of Naughty, which will be carried across four new-to-market mixes:
Each section of Little Lessons for Nurse Educators by Linda Caputi, EdD, RN, CNE, a member of the NLN Board of Governors, is formatted with a quotation, a message for nursing education, and a "Nightingale," a succinct statement or useful hint.
The observations also hint that dark energy, which pervades all space, might emanate from the cosmic vacuum and have a constant density.