Definition of inkling in US English:

inkling

noun

  • A slight knowledge or suspicion; a hint.

    ‘the records give us an inkling of how people saw the world’
    • ‘I suspected that, even at that early stage, he had an inkling that a terrible mistake had been made.’
    • ‘To be honest, I had an inkling I would have to work most of the weekend, but I had no idea how hard.’
    • ‘If she had the slightest inkling of the notion of democratic representation she would never be able to say this.’
    • ‘Few had the slightest inkling about the kind of music that was being played by the band.’
    • ‘If anyone reading this has an inkling as to what it is, please share the knowledge.’
    • ‘She didn't have the slightest inkling that her career was about to take a major upturn.’
    • ‘I'm glad you found it funny, it shows that maybe I do have the remote inkling of a sense of humour hidden somewhere in my tiny brain.’
    • ‘So we're getting these inklings of what it is, but we just can't know, and there isn't going to be any way to know this early.’
    • ‘This is a moment when an older fascination with looking (at the mother's face, for an obvious example) collides with the initial inklings of self-awareness.’
    • ‘It took them by surprise even though they had an inkling I wasn't happy.’
    • ‘No one knows my body as well as I do, so I had an inkling something new was amiss.’
    • ‘How was she to keep her promise if she had not an inkling of an idea who he was?’
    • ‘He appeared to be deep in thought, but no one could have had an inkling of what his thoughts were.’
    • ‘He had it all mapped out and made certain Sally didn't have the slightest inkling that anything was up.’
    • ‘That might have been the first movie that I understood was bad when I was watching it in the theater - a ten-yer-old's first inklings of taste and judgment.’
    • ‘The first inklings in those years of widespread ecological damage and the risk of Cold War nuclear conflict further fed the fear that man's tools might be doing more harm than good.’
    • ‘Patricia, what were the first inklings you had about this story?’
    • ‘And although we think we know, we have no idea, not an inkling of what is happening here.’
    • ‘She had inklings (well founded, I hasten to add) that her boyfriend was being unfaithful.’
    • ‘I had an inkling of an idea, but didn't want to share it with her just yet, so I shook my head.’
    idea, vague idea, notion, glimmering
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘a mention in an undertone, a hint’): from the rare verb inkle ‘utter in an undertone’, of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

inkling

/ˈiNGkliNG//ˈɪŋklɪŋ/