- 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
- 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.