hint

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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 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

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 ?
We love the winemaker's suggested SICILY (PS7.49, Adnams) ESSENTIALLY a crowd-pleasing, food-friendly red to style up your thick-crusted Sicilian pizza, this juicy, fruity, moreish drop offers an enticing fruit basket of sun-drenched black cherry, wild berries and plummy fruits with a hint of spice on the plush palate, ending with juicy acidity on the finish.
Deep purple-black in colour, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon springs from the glass with lifted crAaAaAeA?me de cassis, violets and chocolate box not plus hints of lilacs, raspberry leaves, anise and cardamom.
Since they are not visible in that clip, while Tara and Joey and London and Logan are, it seems to be a very strong hint that the pair already passed the others.
However, such research ignored the reactions of Holists and Serialists to the use of various hints. Thus, this study attempted to fill this gap.
"Undoubtedly white is the most flexible 'colour' to work with and the subtle hints allow it to act as a back-kdrop or compliment to any room."
There's plenty of nectarine plus hints of tangerine.
Alagiri had openly resented such hints, saying he would not accept anyone else other than his father as leader.
The co-authors had been each saving "helpful hints" for years, totally unaware that the other had been doing the same until it came up in a conversation.
The governor of the central bank of Thailand has hinted that the bank could increase rates in order to contain inflation in the nation.
We get so many great Handy Hints from our readers that we're bursting at the seams with helpful ideas!
Fullner (librarian, Nooksack Valley Middle School) provides roughly 300 hints on how to administer and maintain a library in rough economic times.
Diverse collection of 130 "Parish Nursing Health Hints" focusing on information related to specific diseases, family health, nutrition, and exercise.
Avon Derek deter Driven ($26 for 2.5 oz., avon.com) charms with hints of chilled grapefruit, oakmoss and spice.
I do not pretend to teach her [the nurse] how, I ask her to teach herself, and for this purpose I venture to give her some hints.
A scene from the mid-1970s: "I'm going to retire, and then you're Heloise," said the woman who launched the famous hints column back in 1959.