1. a twist or curl, as in a thread, rope, wire, or hair, caused by its doubling or bending upon itself.
  2. a muscular stiffness or soreness, as in the neck or back.
  3. a flaw or imperfection likely to hinder the successful operation of something, as a machine or plan: There are still a few kinks to be worked out of the plan before we start production.
  4. a mental twist; notion; whim or crotchet.
  5. Slang.
    1. bizarre or unconventional sexual preferences or behavior.
    2. a person characterized by such preferences or behavior.

verb (used with or without object)

  1. to form, or cause to form, a kink or kinks, as a rope.


  1. a sharp twist or bend in a wire, rope, hair, etc, esp one caused when it is pulled tight
  2. a crick in the neck or similar muscular spasm
  3. a flaw or minor difficulty in some undertaking or project
  4. a flaw or idiosyncrasy of personality; quirk
  5. British informal a sexual deviation
  6. US a clever or unusual idea


  1. to form or cause to form a kink

1670s, a nautical term, from Dutch kink “twist in a rope” (also found in French and Swedish), probably related to Old Norse kikna “to bend backwards, sink at the knee” (see kick). Figurative sense of “odd notion, mental twist” first recorded in American English, 1803, in writings of Thomas Jefferson. As a verb, 1690s, from the noun.


  1. A tight curl, twist, or bend in a length of thin material.
  2. A painful muscle spasm, as in the neck; a crick.
  3. A mental peculiarity; a quirk.
  4. Peculiarity or deviation in sexual behavior or taste.


  1. To form or cause to form a kink or kinks.

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