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[ingk] /ɪŋk/

a fluid or viscous substance used for writing or printing.
a dark, protective fluid ejected by the cuttlefish and other cephalopods.
Informal. publicity, especially in print media:
Their construction plans got some ink in the local paper.
verb (used with object)
to mark, stain, cover, or smear with ink:
to ink one’s clothes.
Slang. to sign one’s name to (an official document):
We expect to ink the contract tomorrow.
a fluid or paste used for printing, writing, and drawing
a dark brown fluid ejected into the water for self-concealment by an octopus or related mollusc from a gland (ink sac) near the anus
verb (transitive)
to mark with ink
to coat (a printing surface) with ink

“the black liquor with which men write” [Johnson], mid-13c., from Old French enque “dark writing fluid” (11c.), from Late Latin encaustum, from Greek enkauston “purple or red ink,” used by the Roman emperors to sign documents, originally a neuter adjective form of enkaustos “burned in,” from stem of enkaiein “to burn in,” from en- “in” + kaiein “to burn” (see caustic). The word is from a Greek method of applying colored wax and fixing it with heat. The Old English word for it was simply blæc, literally “black.” Ink-blot test attested from 1928.

“to mark or stain in ink,” 1560s, from ink (n.). Meaning “to cover (a printing plate, etc.) with ink” is from 1727. Related: Inked; inking.
A dark liquid ejected for protection by most cephalopods, including the octopus and squid. Ink consists of highly concentrated melanin.



To write; sign, esp a contract: He also inked the plays/ has inked to helm two more pictures (1940+)

Related Terms

pink ink, red ink


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  • Ink-ball

    noun, Printing. 1. one of a pair of heavy pads of horsehair and cotton covered with sheepskin or buckskin and equipped with a handle, used before the invention of the ink roller for dabbing ink on type for printing.

  • Inkberry

    [ingk-ber-ee, -buh-ree] /ˈɪŋkˌbɛr i, -bə ri/ noun, plural inkberries. 1. Also called gallberry. a shrub, Ilex glabra, having leathery, evergreen leaves and black . 2. the pokeweed. 3. the of either plant. /ˈɪŋkˌbɛrɪ/ noun (pl) -ries 1. a North American holly tree, Ilex glabra, with black berry-like fruits 2. another name for the pokeweed 3. […]

  • Inkblot

    /ˈɪŋkˌblɒt/ noun 1. (psychol) an abstract patch of ink, one of ten commonly used in the Rorschach test

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