The Meaning of Kinks: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of kinks? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word kinks, including its definition, etymology, usage, and more!

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What does the word kinks mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language and other documentaries like American Heritage and Collins English Dictionary, the word kinks is the plural form of the noun kinks and the present participle form of the verb kink. The word kink has multiple definitions. The first of these definitions of kink is some short, tight, sharp twist, sharp bend or tight curl. This is formed by a winding or a doubling of something upon itself, such as a coil of thread or bend in a metal crook like a crochet hook, loop braid, spiral screw, or other length of thin material. Someone might say, “There’s a kink in this piece of sheet metal. We won’t be able to use it for the project. We need to get a new one.”

The word kink can also refer to a painful muscle spasm or crick, rick, or wrick. This happens when there is a flaw in the muscles that requires rehabilitation. This is a similar muscular spasm or muscular stiffness/soreness that you may get from sports. Someone might say, “I slept all wrong last night and I have a horrible kink in my neck. Do you have any cream I could put on it?”

The word kink can also refer to a whoop or gasp of breath caused by crying, coughing, or laughing, or some sonorous indraft of breath or convulsive fit in which one may gasp for breath. This severe fit of laughter or cough is referred to as a kink. It can also refer to a physical or mental peculiarity, eccentric idea, eccentricity, or quirk. This imperfection or whim may cause some people minor difficulty with a certain undertaking, but others may enjoy this idiosyncrasy of personality. Someone might day, “Sure, he had his kinks, but he’s fun to work with and has a good attitude.”

The word kink also refers to a deviation in sexual behavior or taste. These unusual sexual tastes could include BDSM – bondage, dominant, sadism, masochism – and these people could be called kinksters, while people who do not participate in kink could be called vanillas. Often, people have a code word for if circumstances go too far and they reach their hard limit. Kink has grown in popularity throughout the years.

As a verb, the word kink means to form a kink – to crape, frimp, frizz or frizzle. While kink has various different meanings, it does not have various pronunciations. The pronunciation of kink is ˈkiŋk. There are many translations of kink for its various definitions listed below from Word Sense

Kink (n.) – a curl, twist, or bend

  •  Dutch: kink‎
  •  Portuguese: cacho‎
  •  Finnish: sykkyrä‎
  •  French: coude‎ (masc.)
  •  Russian: переги́б‎ (masc.), заги́б‎ (masc.), изги́б‎ (masc.)
  •  Spanish: arruga‎ (fem.), pliegue‎ (masc.), doblez‎ (masc.)
  •  Swedish: knut‎ (common), veck‎ (neut.), fnurra‎ (common)
  •  Hebrew: קשר‎

Kink (n.) – a sexual peculiarity

  •  Finnish: kierouma‎
  •  Russian: заско́к‎ (masc.), ненорма́льность‎ (fem.), стра́нность‎ (fem.)
  •  Spanish: desviación‎ (fem.), rareza‎ (fem.), desvarío‎ (masc.), excentricidad‎ (fem.)
  •  Portuguese: tara‎ (fem.)
  •  Italian: perversione‎ (fem.)

What is the origin of the word kinks?

According to Etymonline, the word kink has been used since the 1670s (c17) to refer to  a knot-like contraction. This comes from the Dutch kink, French kink, and Swedish kink, which are related to the Old Norse kinka. Related words are seen globally in the Icelandic kengur, Dutch kinken, Middle Low German kinke, and German kinke kink. These come from the Proto-Germanic kenk and Proto-Indo-European gengʰ. It has been used since c19 in American English by Thomas Jefferson to refer to an odd notion or mental twist. By c20 in the 1960s and 1970s, the word was used to refer to sexual fetish or paraphilia. Kink can also be used as a verb, and y can be added to the end of kink to form kinky (adj.)

What are synonyms of kink?

There are various different words that a person can use in place of the word kink. These words are called synonyms and have the same meaning as a given word or phrase. These are useful to know if you are trying to expand your vocabulary or avoid repeating yourself. This list of synonyms of kink is provided by Thesaurus.

Kink (n.) – a curl, twist, or bend

  •  rondure
  •  compass
  •  loop
  •  turn
  •  wrinkle
  •  horseshoe
  •  coil
  •  arch
  •  vault
  •  circumference
  •  crook
  •  quirk
  •  arc
  •  curlicue
  •  catenary
  •  twist
  •  flexure
  •  bight
  •  swerve
  •  festoon
  •  corkscrew
  •  sweep
  •  bend
  •  knot
  •  sinuosity
  •  hyperbola
  •  ogee
  •  incurvation
  •  meniscus
  •  frizz
  •  contour
  •  ellipse
  •  tangle
  •  whorl
  •  helix
  •  crinkle
  •  crimp
  •  bow
  •  circuit
  •  parabola
  •  curve
  •  curl
  •  incurvature
  •  half-moon
  •  ambit
  •  curvation
  •  trajectory
  •  round
  •  curvature
  •  concavity
  •  camber
  •  entanglement
  •  chord
  •  circle
  •  hairpin

Kink (n.) – a muscle spasm

  •  pang
  •  knot
  •  pinch
  •  charley horse
  •  tweak
  •  pain
  •  cramp
  •  stitch
  •  crick
  •  muscle spasm
  •  stab
  •  twinge

Kink (n.) – a complication

  •  problem
  •  demerit
  •  stain
  •  catch
  •  gremlin
  •  weak point
  •  imperfection
  •  peccadillo
  •  failing
  •  taint
  •  foible
  •  blemish
  •  disfigurement
  •  glitch
  •  incompleteness
  •  flaw
  •  defect
  •  fallibility
  •  shortcoming
  •  deficiency
  •  sin
  •  weakness
  •  bug
  •  insufficiency
  •  inadequacy
  •  deformity
  •  frailty
  •  fault
  •  infirmity

Kink (n.) – an idiosyncracy

  •  idiosyncrasy
  •  subterfuge
  •  twist
  •  peculiarity
  •  singularity
  •  characteristic
  •  conceit
  •  fetish
  •  turn
  •  fancy
  •  idée fixe
  •  humor
  •  quibble
  •  habit
  •  vagary
  •  knack
  •  trait
  •  crotchet
  •  foible
  •  irregularity
  •  eccentricity
  •  whimsy
  •  mannerism
  •  whim
  •  quirk
  •  caprice
  •  aberration
  •  equivocation

Overall, the word kink means either a bend in a material such as the tensing of a looped section of wire or cigar smoke that curls up on the ceiling, a sexual preference (often outside the realm of normal sexual behavior), a unique or eccentric idea, or a muscle stiffness. It can also be used as a verb to mean to form a kink.


  1. Kink | Definition of Kink | Merriam-Webster 
  2. kink | Origin and meaning of kink | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  3. kink: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  4. KINK Synonyms: 61 Synonyms & Antonyms for KINK | Thesaurus