Definition of fink in English:



North American
  • 1An unpleasant or contemptible person.

    scoundrel, villain, rogue, rascal, brute, animal, weasel, snake, monster, ogre, wretch, devil, good-for-nothing, reprobate, wrongdoer, evil-doer
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    1. 1.1A person who informs on people to the authorities.
      ‘he was assumed by some to be the management's fink’
      • ‘You really are deluded if you go on believing in your ‘hero’ in the face of all the evidence that he's a fink, and a not very bright one at that.’
      • ‘We are in the Eggshell Era, in which everyone has to tiptoe around because there's a world of busybodies out there who are being paid to catch you out - and a public that is slowly being trained to accept a culture of finks.’
      • ‘I'm not a rat fink squealer! You think I'm going to tell you anything that would put my friends at risk?’
      • ‘Could you deal with the fallout if she discovered you're the the fink who told?’
      • ‘Looking back, I saw two sets of feet: my mother's slippered ones, and the small pink toes of the fink who told on me.’
      • ‘The social set is torn between pegging him as a total rat fink or a noble whistle-blower.’
      • ‘What a fink. I can't believe he practically put the candy in my pockets and now he's taking me down with him.’
    2. 1.2dated A strikebreaker.
      • ‘And a little blond feller, I don't know who he was, yelled, ‘Hey, there's a fink here, starting to move goods!’’
      • ‘We took some of our best militant workers, entered the plant and drove the finks out.’
      • ‘There were a few door guards to protect the ‘finks’.’


[NO OBJECT]North American
  • 1Inform on to the authorities.

    ‘there was no shortage of people willing to fink on their neighbors’
    • ‘Charged with obscenity, the 60-year-old professor not only fearfully complied with the cops but immediately finked on two friends.’
    • ‘Padre Amaro, the young saving grace reformer, is in actuality a power mad vacuum, able to use a nubile young woman to satisfy his carnal desires as he finks on those within his order who would do the same.’
    • ‘Giussepe is unaware of the reasons why Pasquale finked on his brother and despises him for it.’
    • ‘On the other hand, you don't want to die - and nobody will ever know that you finked on your friends.’
    • ‘He also made clear to his client that he would not fink on anyone in the Scene.’
  • 2Fail to do something promised or expected because of a lack of courage or commitment.

    ‘administration officials had finked out’
    • ‘The crew was fabulous, the cast was great, no one finked out, everybody was there.’
    • ‘In all, six of Chelsea's best players finked out.’
    • ‘Of an initial infusion of five million dollars, $250,000 per worm has been assigned as bounty to whoever finks out the authors.’
    • ‘Candice almost finks out of helping by saying she's ‘got to work with anorexics.’’
    • ‘He was supposed to come by last night, but he finked out for some reason.’
    1. 2.1Cease to function.
      ‘your immune system begins finking out and you get sick’
      • ‘He said if it finked out again, they'd fix it again.’
      • ‘The last thing I want is to wake up my kid, take her to the neighbors, drive 45 minutes to the Birth Center, stay up until 4 am and then just have to come home because my body finks out again.’
      • ‘It seems to get through syncing with the Address Book before it finks out.’


Late 19th century: of unknown origin; perhaps from German, literally finch but also a pejorative term. Students started to refer to nonmembers of fraternities as finks, probably by association with the freedom of wild birds as opposed to caged ones. The term was later generalized to denote those not belonging to organizations such as trade unions.