1. A tight curl, twist, or bend in a length of thin material, as one caused by the tensing of a looped section of wire.
2. A painful muscle spasm, as in the neck or back; a crick.
3. A difficulty or flaw that is likely to impede operation, as in a plan or system.
4. A mental peculiarity; a quirk.
5. An unusual or eccentric idea.
6. Slang Peculiarity or deviation in sexual behavior or taste.
intr. & tr.v. kinked, kink·ing, kinks
To form or cause to form a kink or kinks.
[Dutch, twist in a rope.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.