1. a crack, cleft, or fissure: a chink in a wall.
  2. a narrow opening: a chink between two buildings.

verb (used with object)

  1. to fill up chinks in.

verb (used with or without object)

  1. to make, or cause to make, a short, sharp, ringing sound, as of coins or glasses striking together.


  1. a chinking sound: the chink of ice in a glass.
  2. Slang. coin or ready cash.

noun (sometimes lowercase) Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive.

  1. a contemptuous term used to refer to a Chinese person.


  1. a small narrow opening, such as a fissure or crack
  2. chink in one’s armour a small but fatal weakness


  1. (tr) mainly US and Canadian to fill up or make cracks in


  1. to make or cause to make a light ringing sound, as by the striking of glasses or coins


  1. such a sound

noun, adjective plural Chinks or Chinkies

  1. an old-fashioned and highly derogatory term for Chinese

“a split, crack,” 1530s, with parasitic -k + Middle English chine (and replacing this word) “fissure, narrow valley,” from Old English cinu, cine “fissure,” related to cinan “to crack, split, gape,” common Germanic (cf. Old Saxon and Old High German kinan, Gothic uskeinan, German keimen “to germinate;” Middle Dutch kene, Old Saxon kin, German Keim “germ;” ), from PIE root *geie- “to sprout, split open.” The connection being in the notion of bursting open.


“a Chinaman,” 1901, derogatory, perhaps derived somehow from China, or else from chink (n.1) with reference to eye shape.


“sharp sound” (especially of coin), 1580s, probably imitative. As a verb from 1580s. Related: Chinked; chinking.

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