"to ring, jingle, give forth a sharp, metallic sound," early 14c., echoic (compare Dutch klinken, Old High German klingan, German klingen); perhaps a weakened form of clank. Transitive sense, "cause to produce a sharp metallic sound" is from late 14c. Related: Clinked; clinking.
"prison," 1770s, apparently originally (1510s) the Clynke on Clink Street in Southwark, on the estate of the bishops of Winchester. To kiss the clink "to be imprisoned" is from 1580s, and the word and the prison name might be cognate derivatives of the sound made by chains or metal locks (see clink (v.)).