Also: Let drop a hint
Meaning of Idiom ‘To Drop a Hint’
To drop a hint means to give a small, subtle hint about something; to allude to something without directly saying it. 1Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008. ,2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
One can drop a hint purposefully or accidentally. The variant ‘let drop a hint’ is sometimes used when a clue is given unintentionally.
Examples Of Use
“Someone dropped a hint about possible insider trading going on at the firm, and now they are under investigation”
“Mike let drop a hint about the surprise party to Olivia but it still doesn’t seem like she knows what is going on.”
“I’ve been dropping hints about what I want for my birthday, but it doesn’t seem to be working.”
The word drop in this idiom is used in the sense of “to mention in passing.” One can also drop a remark, or even drop an insult. The idiom has been used since at least the 1780s.
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