from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A colored linen tape woven on a simple narrow loom and used for trimmings.
  • n. The yarn or thread used in making this tape.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Narrow linen tape, used for trimmings or to make shoelaces
  • v. To hint at; disclose.
  • v. To have a hint or inkling of; divine.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of tape or braid.
  • transitive v. To guess.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To hint at; disclose. In this use somewhat uncertain, being found only in the following passage:
  • To have a hint or inkling of; divine.
  • n. A kind of tape or braid formerly employed as a trimming, being sewed upon the surface as in modern braided work. It was either of a single color or of several in stripes.
  • n. A material formerly used for decorative needlework, either crewel or embroidery-wool, or perhaps silk or flax.
  • n. In modern use, a broad linen tape; wrought spinel.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a linen tape used for trimming as a decoration


Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from *inklen, inclen ("to give an inkling of, hint at, mention, utter in an undertone"), from inke ("apprehension, misgiving"), from Old English inca ("doubt, suspicion"), from Proto-Germanic *inkô (“ache, regret”), from Proto-Indo-European *yenǵ- (“illness”). Cognate with Old Frisian jinc ("angered"), Old Norse ekki ("pain, grief"), Norwegian ekkje ("lack, pity"). (Wiktionary)
Apparently from earlier *ingle, perhaps from an incorrect division of lingle, lingel. (Wiktionary)


  • Tapitha Brample, spinster; he mought as well have called her inkle-weaver, for she never spun and hank of yarn in her life —

    The Expedition of Humphry Clinker

  • One related word you might not have heard of is the verb "inkle," a back-formation of "inkling" that occurs in some British English dialects and means "to have an idea or notion of."

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day

  • Now I want to play 500 when my grands are in town so I can inkle botany.

    Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway

  • With these properties, the parchment tablets are wonderful for weaving with historical material, presentations in a museum environment please be aware that inkle looms and "tablet weave looms" are not medieval at all!

    All the Gory Details, parchment tablets.

  • Then there's the incredibly speedy weaving on an inkle loom, to be found here.

    Brain Test

  • Presently, the fumes of the wine moved her to strike her hand on the inkle of my petticoat trousers, whereby it became loosed, unknown of either of us, and my trousers fell down in our play.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • A quasi-sacred part of it is the inkle, tape or string, often a most magnificent affair, with tassels of pearl and precious stones; and

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • You left us early, noble Master Grahame, but, good faith, we had a carouse to your honour — we heard butt ring hollow ere we parted; we were as loving as inkle-weavers — we fought, too, to finish off the gawdy.

    The Fortunes of Nigel

  • No wonder he says these things and doesn't inkle that they are wrong.

    shaken & stirred

  • When the boar is thus cut out each piece is wrapped up, either with bulrushes, ozier, peels, tape inkle, [1] or such like, and then sodden in a lead or caldron together, till they be so tender that a man may thrust a bruised rush or straw clean through the fat: which being done, they take it up and lay it abroad to cool.

    Chronicle and Romance (The Harvard Classics Series)


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  • To attend a party to which one hasn't an invitation. (according to NPRs Says You)

    September 3, 2011

  • in Middle English an utterance in an undertone

    January 3, 2008