Also found in: Thesaurus, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to inks: INXS


1. A pigmented liquid or paste used especially for writing or printing.
2. A dark liquid ejected for protection by most cephalopods, including octopuses and squids.
3. Informal Coverage in the print media; publicity: Her campaign rallies generated a lot of ink.
4. Informal A tattoo or tattoos: showed us his ink.
tr.v. inked, ink·ing, inks
1. To mark, coat, or stain with ink.
2. To apply black lines to (a drawing or sketch) using pen and ink or a digital graphics program.
3. Informal
a. To append one's signature to (a contract, for example).
b. To engage or hire by means of a contract.
4. Informal To tattoo.

[Middle English inke, from Old French enque, from Late Latin encaustum, purple ink, from Greek enkauston, painted in encaustic, from enkaiein, to paint in encaustic, burn in; see encaustic.]


Liquids for drawing or painting; generally the colors are a suspension or present as a dye. Sometimes, as with Indian ink or white ink, there may be opaque pigments in suspension. Inks may be applied with different types of pen or soft hairbrushes.
References in classic literature ?
After worrying enough about these wretched inks, pens, and paper to make everybody miserable, it turns out that the child of his own female gardener hasn't any.
Seated at my own table in clear noonday light I saw a person whom, without my previous experience, I should have taken at the first blush for some housemaid who might have stayed at home to look after the place and who, availing herself of rare relief from observation and of the schoolroom table and my pens, ink, and paper, had applied herself to the considerable effort of a letter to her sweetheart.
She did not expect that Tom could get out of his trouble by denying that he spilt the ink on the book himself; and she was right.
He mechanica lly dipped the pen in the ink, and then hesitated.
Finding him so very friendly and companionable, it was then that I asked for the pen and ink and paper, to write to Peggotty.
Dinner over, we produced a bundle of pens, a copious supply of ink, and a goodly show of writing and blotting paper.
So, after dinner the following evening, I suggested that we should for once take a little walk up along the river-side; and when we were quiet in the moonlight, dappling the lovers' path we were treading, and making sharp contrasts of ink and silver down in the river-bed,--I spoke.
There were several additions of a later date, but above all, three crosses of red ink--two on the north part of the island, one in the southwest--and beside this last, in the same red ink, and in a small, neat hand, very different from the captain's tottery characters, these words: "Bulk of treasure here.
Poligny was written in black ink and exactly similar to that in our possession, except that, at the end, it contained a paragraph in red ink and in a queer, labored handwriting, as though it had been produced by dipping the heads of matches into the ink, the writing of a child that has never got beyond the down-strokes and has not learned to join its letters.
Yes; I am a supercargo; pen, ink, and paper are my tools, and without my tools I am fit for nothing.
Raoul had been there about ten minutes, during five of which he was lost in reverie, when there appeared within the circle comprised in his rolling gaze a man with a rubicund face, who, with a napkin around his body, another under his arm, and a white cap upon his head, approached him, holding paper, pen and ink in hand.
It must blaze up, indeed, with a great brilliance the dull printer's ink expended on the assemblage of the few letters that form the ship's name to the anxious eyes scanning the page in fear and trembling.