1. a color varying from light crimson to pale reddish purple.
  2. any of several plants of the genus Dianthus, as the clove pink or carnation.Compare pink family.
  3. the flower of such a plant; carnation.
  4. the highest form or degree; prime: a runner in the pink of condition.
  5. Older Slang: Disparaging. pinko.
  6. Business Informal. a carbon copy, as of a sales slip or invoice, made on pink tissue paper.
  7. pinks,
    1. Fox coat.
    2. pinkish-tan gabardine trousers formerly worn by military officers as part of the dress uniform.
  8. the scarlet color of hunting pinks.

adjective, pink·er, pink·est.

  1. of the color pink: pink marble.
  2. Older Slang: Disparaging.
    1. holding mildly leftist political opinions.
    2. leaning toward communist ideology.
  3. Informal. of or relating to homosexuals or homosexuality.


  1. tickled pink. tickle(def 10).


  1. any of a group of colours with a reddish hue that are of low to moderate saturation and can usually reflect or transmit a large amount of light; a pale reddish tint
  2. pink cloth or clothingdressed in pink
  3. any of various Old World plants of the caryophyllaceous genus Dianthus, such as D. plumarius (garden pink), cultivated for their fragrant flowersSee also carnation (def. 1)
  4. any of various plants of other genera, such as the moss pink
  5. the flower of any of these plants
  6. the highest or best degree, condition, etc (esp in the phrases in the pink of health, in the pink)
    1. a huntsman’s scarlet coat
    2. a huntsman who wears a scarlet coat


  1. of the colour pink
  2. British informal left-wing
  3. US derogatory
    1. sympathetic to or influenced by Communism
    2. leftist or radical, esp half-heartedly
  4. informal of or relating to homosexuals or homosexualitythe pink vote
  5. (of a huntsman’s coat) scarlet or red


  1. (intr) another word for knock (def. 7)

verb (tr)

  1. to prick lightly with a sword or rapier
  2. to decorate (leather, cloth, etc) with a perforated or punched pattern
  3. to cut with pinking shears


  1. a sailing vessel with a narrow overhanging transom

n., adj.1570s, common name of Dianthus, a garden plant of various colors, of unknown origin. Its use for “pale rose color” first recorded 1733 (pink-coloured is recorded from 1680s), from one of the colors of the flowers. The plant name is perhaps from pink (v.) via notion of “perforated” petals, or from Dutch pink “small” (see pinkie), from the term pinck oogen “half-closed eyes,” literally “small eyes,” which was borrowed into English (1570s) and may have been used as a name for Dianthus, which sometimes has pale red flowers. The flower meaning led (by 1590s) to a figurative use for “the flower” or finest example of anything (e.g. Mercutio’s “Nay, I am the very pinck of curtesie,” Rom. & Jul. II.iv.61). Political noun sense “person perceived as left of center but not entirely radical (i.e. red)” is attested by 1927, but the image dates to at least 1837. Pink slip “discharge notice” is first recorded 1915. To see pink elephants “hallucinate from alcoholism” first recorded 1913 in Jack London’s “John Barleycorn.” v.c.1200, pungde “pierce, stab,” later (early 14c.) “make holes in; spur a horse,” of uncertain origin; perhaps from a Romanic stem that also yielded French piquer, Spanish picar (see pike (n.2)). Or perhaps from Old English pyngan and directly from Latin pungere “to prick, pierce” (see pungent). Surviving mainly in pinking shears. see in the pink; tickled pink.

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