Definition of kink in English:



  • 1A sharp twist or curve in something that is otherwise straight.

    ‘a kink in the road’
    • ‘Murali, it was later disclosed, because of a minor deformity, had a slight kink in the elbow.’
    • ‘You're going to have a permanent kink in that button nose of yours if you keep getting hit.’
    • ‘The kink in its tail is distinctive of only the most pedigreed of Siamese.’
    • ‘I can stare straight into the water hose and wonder why the water isn't coming out until I accidentally trip over a kink in the hose, after which I get sprayed right in the face.’
    • ‘Absorbing a photon can force a photosensitive cluster of atoms to reposition a chemical bond and create a kink in a polymer chain.’
    • ‘Images of dissected tendon taken under the light microscope show that fibrils can sustain sharp bends or kinks along their length.’
    • ‘Thick vapour rolled across as we reached the final kink in the dyke and turned east towards the Tail Burn once more.’
    • ‘It's hardly a grotto at all, merely a kink in the shadowy, soot-darkened stone passageway.’
    • ‘Halfway through the day I took it down to redo it, and couldn't make it go the right way at all because there was a massive kink in it.’
    • ‘The second crewman reported a kink in the hose and tried to straighten it.’
    • ‘Composed of one or more curves, angles, kinks or any combination thereof, the tail is created by a simple recessive gene which breeds true in any bobtail-to-bobtail cross.’
    • ‘The surgical shunt will also be removed from her heart and a kink in the artery leading from her heart to her left lung will also be repaired.’
    • ‘He probably had a small kink in an artery and a clot coincided with it.’
    • ‘And so today the road has a slight kink in it to accommodate the tree.’
    • ‘His puck-handling prowess can cause him to get overconfident or rattled by elements such as a kink in the boards of a road arena.’
    • ‘The tree has a sharp kink in its trunk, as if it had been convulsed with pain.’
    • ‘That hall was longer than the others and didn't go straight all the way; it had a kink in it.’
    • ‘Set in a kink in the fertile hills rolling north from the valley of the Tigris river, the village is idyllic.’
    • ‘Too little flow could be caused by a kink in the line or particles clogging the emitters.’
    • ‘The toy that came with it was one of those plastic nails with a kink in it that you put on your finger and it looks like it's gone right through.’
    bend, corner, angle, dog-leg, crook, twist, turn, curve, loop, zigzag
    curl, crimp, twist, twirl, ringlet, wave, frizz
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    1. 1.1A flaw or obstacle in a plan, operation, etc.
      ‘though the system is making some headway, there are still some kinks to iron out’
      • ‘They prefer to wait until all the kinks are worked out and all the defects and maintenance tricks have been discovered and applied by early adopters before jumping from the tried and true into something new.’
      • ‘In the short term, many companies want to iron out the kinks in wireless voice services first.’
      • ‘Costelloe will be on hand for a month after the sale to explain how things work, and iron out kinks in the transfer.’
      • ‘Sometimes, it takes a show a couple of seasons to work, to iron out the kinks and start sailing smoothly.’
      • ‘The company is hosting special training courses so mechanics can quickly iron out any kinks.’
      • ‘This approach allows you to smooth out operational kinks while moving forward toward a more refined design.’
      • ‘Gradually the kinks were ironed out, and the screenings became more dependable.’
      • ‘Despite the organization's kinks and flaws, even some of FSC's fiercest critics acknowledge its needed role in the movement to help forests regain their balance.’
      • ‘But it will be ingenious people at the tactical level will who will iron out the kinks and forge bonds of multinational cooperation.’
      • ‘The vendor worked with SouthTrust to iron out the kinks, Adams says.’
      • ‘Even so, it took time and collaboration, and intellectual modesty, to get all the kinks ironed out.’
      • ‘The cafe held several days of trial runs, in which specially invited customers made their choice of free goodies while the staff and cooks ironed out the kinks.’
      • ‘At first, we figured business would pick up once we ironed out the kinks.’
      • ‘It is my hope, for example, that come the 2006-07 tax year, all the initial kinks will have been ironed out and everybody will be able to return to plain sailing.’
      • ‘Okay, so there are a few kinks in the plan that still have to be worked out, but what do you say?’
      • ‘But I assume that these vehicles are prototypes, and that once the operational kinks are worked out, they'll start scaling down a bit.’
      • ‘The operational kinks get smoothed out on this second day of the Australian Nationals both at my end and at headquarters.’
      • ‘Iron out the kinks at manned cash registers, before you open up self-checkout lanes.’
      • ‘But since we had a few unexpected hours on our hands, we took the time to experiment and iron out the kinks.’
      • ‘I love the concept of presence-based project coordination, but Rhombus has a way to go to iron out the kinks.’
      flaw, defect, imperfection, problem, difficulty, complication, hitch, snag, shortcoming, weak point, weak spot, weakness, catch
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    2. 1.2A quirk of character or behaviour.
      • ‘Pluto is encouraging you to stand up for your quirks and kinks.’
      • ‘Every character has its quirks and kinks but notable among the lot is the marigold chewing tent maker P K Dubey.’
      peculiarity, quirk, idiosyncrasy, eccentricity, oddity, foible, whim, whimsy, caprice, vagary, twist, crotchet, mannerism, fad
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    3. 1.3informal A person's unusual sexual preference.
      • ‘From what I've come to understand, kink can develop over time.’
      • ‘The No. 1 reason cited by women who are reluctant to indulge their male partners' kinks is the fear that they're stepping onto a slippery slope.’
      • ‘While society would have you believe that only men have serious kinks, I've found that among my friends it's about 50/50.’
      • ‘Despite his best efforts, MacLachlan does seem to end up playing guys with a kink in their closet.’
      • ‘During a stopover in London, she's fixed up with a nameless salesman (Tim Campbell) who tries to trigger her secret kink.’
      • ‘I'm sure my neighbours think I'm into kink.’
      • ‘Be careful: that yawn-inducing exterior could hide dangerous kinks.’
      • ‘Your tax money is going to be spent censoring people like me for talking about sex and kink.’
      • ‘No two answers about why homosexuality, heterosexuality, bisexuality, kink, polyamory, or - (insert your particular perversion here) is immoral will be the same.’
      • ‘He wanted something heightened, very stylized, and a sense of twisted kink to get across his message.’
      • ‘The first time we had sex I had expected to give her a gentle introduction, easing her into the kinks of the male imagination.’
      • ‘Imagine if Boyfriend could be my primary partner, who I love and adore and fulfils pretty much all my needs, but for hardcore kink and pretentious writer/lit talk.’
      • ‘My current beloved understands that I like a little kink in the bedroom, but for him its difficult to deal with.’
      • ‘Here and there, we get hints of sado-masochism and kinks.’
      • ‘If you find underwear dirty, sister, that's a kink, not a moral position.’
      • ‘Alas my kink is hard to indulge, yet everywhere there is torment.’
      • ‘Explore the world of kink, fetish and fantasy on a journey through the erotic imagination.’
  • 2North American A crick in the neck.

    • ‘He rubbed at where the kinks had been in his neck.’
    • ‘He was working out the kinks in his neck, but when he saw us, he stopped.’
    • ‘His neck had a kink from sleeping in one position for so long.’
    • ‘Sara straightened and rotated her neck to get the kinks out.’
    • ‘Stretching out neck kinks, waiting for the light to change.’
    cramp, spasm, muscle spasm, muscular contraction, rick, twinge, pang, pain, shooting pain, ache
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  • Form or cause to form a sharp twist or curve.

    [no object] ‘the river kinks violently in a right angle’
    [with object] ‘take care to avoid kinking the wire’
    • ‘Avoid kinking the conduit, and make sure all connections are secure.’
    • ‘If the injured limb has been rotated, it is gently realigned and splinted to avoid kinking or tourniqueting.’
    • ‘Steve's neck, fragile and brittle from a trapped nerve, had kinked badly when it absorbed the impact from the piledriver, and Steve fell to the mat, paralysed.’
    • ‘Thread should unwind from the spool and enter the first tension guide on the machine without kinking, twisting or puddling.’
    • ‘Once extended, the animal, kinking its body near its head against the burrow wall to provide friction, can then draw its tail forward by relaxing the same muscles and bringing up its spine.’


Late 17th century: from Middle Low German kinke, probably from Dutch kinken to kink.