"sharp, ringing sound made by collision of sonorous (especially metallic) bodies," c. 1400, from clink (v.).
"prison," 1770s, apparently originally (early 16c.) 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.)).
early 14c., echoic (compare Dutch klinken, Old High German klingan, German klingen). Related: Clinked; clinking. The noun in the sound sense is from c. 1400.
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