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tinker

noun

  1. (experimenter)  a person who enjoys fixing and experimenting with machines and their parts
    Synonyms: tinkerer. Type of: experimenter
  2. (itinerant)  formerly, a person (traditionally a Gypsy) who traveled from place to place mending pots, kettles, and other metal utensils as a way to earn a living
    Type of: itinerant
  3. (mackerel)  a small mackerel found nearly worldwide
    Synonyms: Scomber japonicus [species], chub mackerel, S. japonicus [abbreviation, species]. Type of:...

verb

  1. (putter)  to do random, unplanned work or activities, or spend time idly
    Synonyms: mess around, monkey, monkey around, muck about, muck around, potter [Britain], putter...
  2. (do work)  to work as a tinker or tinkerer
    Type of: do work
  3. (repair)  to try to fix or mend
    Synonyms: fiddle. Type of: repair

Etymology summary

"mender of kettles, pots, pans, and so on...," mid-13th century (as a surname), ...
(Source: Online Etymology)  [more]

Definition references

Wikipedia:

Tinker

originally an itinerant tinsmith, who mended household utensils. The word is attested from the 13th century and may be of imitative origin. Some travelling people and Gypsies adopted this lifestyle and the name was particularly associated with... (37 of 452 words, 1 image)

en​.wikipedia​.org​/wiki​/Tinker

Tinker (disambiguation)

an itinerant tinsmith; the name is particularly associated with indigenous Irish and Scottish Travellers and is often considered offensive. It may also refer to: Tinker, a novel by Wen Spencer | Tinker, the fictional assistant to Sexton Blake | Tinker,... (38 of 289 words, 23 definitions)

en​.wikipedia​.org​/wiki​/Tinker (disambiguation)

Collins Dictionary:

tinker | Gypsy [sense-specific] | tinkerer [noun, derived]

(especially formerly) a travelling mender of pots and pans | a clumsy worker | the act of tinkering | [Scottish, Irish] another name for "Gypsy" | ... (22 of 464 words, 8 definitions, 9 usage examples, pronunciation)

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/tinker

Wiktionary:

tinker | tinkers [plural] | tinkered [past tense] | tinkering [present participle] | rapscallion [synonym, sense-specific] | rascal [synonym, sense-specific] | rogue [synonym, sense-specific] | scamp [synonym, sense-specific] | scoundrel [synonym, sense-specific] | ...

an itinerant tinsmith and mender of household utensils made of tin | [outdated, UK and Ireland, offensive] A member of the travelling community. A gypsy. | [with "little"] A mischievous person, especially a playful, impish youngster. | Someone who ... (36 of 142 words, 10 definitions, 1 usage example, pronunciation)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/tinker

Oxford Dictionary:

tinker | cuss | damn | not give a tinker's curse | tinkerer [derived]

(especially in former times) a person who makes a living by travelling from place to place mending pans and other metal utensils. | [British, ... (23 of 140 words, 6 definitions, 3 usage examples, pronunciation)

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/tinker

Random House Dictionary:

tinker | chub mackerel [sense-specific] | to mend as a tinker [sense-specific]

a mender of pots, kettles, pans, etc., usually an itinerant. | an unskillful or clumsy worker; bungler. | a person skilled in various minor kinds of ... (24 of 127 words, 11 definitions, 2 usage examples, pronunciation)

dictionary​.infoplease​.com​/tinker

American Heritage Dictionary:

tinker | tinkered [past tense] | tinkering [present participle] | tinkers [3rd-person singular present] | tinkerer [noun, related]

A traveling mender of metal household utensils. | [British] A member of any of various traditionally itinerant groups of people living especially in ... (22 of 104 words, 8 definitions, 1 usage example, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/tinker

New World Dictionary:

tinker | tinkerer [noun, related]

a usually itinerant person who mends pots, pans, etc. | [Irish, Scottish] "Gypsy" | a person who can make all kinds of minor repairs; ... (22 of 84 words, 9 definitions, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/tinker

Merriam-Webster:

tinker [entry 1, noun] | bungler [synonym, sense-specific] | gypsy [synonym, sense-specific]

a usually itinerant mender of household utensils ; an unskillful mender; "bungler" | [Irish] "gypsy" (14 of 46 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation)

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/tinker

tinker [entry 2, verb] | tinkered [past tense] | tinkering [present participle] | fiddle [synonym, sense-specific] | tinkerer [noun, related]

to work in the manner of a tinker ; especially, to repair, adjust, or work with something in an unskilled or experimental manner; "fiddle" | to ... (25 of 68 words, 2 definitions, 1 usage example, pronunciations)

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/tinker show=1

Macmillan British Dictionary:

tinker [countable, noun] | tinkers [plural]

in the past, a man who travelled from place to place repairing metal objects such as pans | [British, offensive] an insulting word for a person who ... (26 of 64 words, 3 definitions, pronunciation)

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/tinker 8

tinker [intransitive] | tinkered [past tense] | tinkering [present participle] | tinkers [3rd-person singular present] | tinker around

"tinker" or "tinker around": to make small changes to something in order to improve or repair it (17 of 63 words, 2 usage examples, pronunciation)

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/tinker

Cambridge Dictionary:

tinker [entry 1]

to make small changes to something, especially in an attempt to repair or improve it (15 of 43 words, 2 usage examples, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/tinker 1

tinker [entry 2]

especially in the past, a person who travelled from place to place, repairing pans or other metal containers (18 of 26 words, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/tinker 2

tinker [entry 3, British, old-fashioned informal]

a child who behaves badly (5 of 31 words, 2 usage examples, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/tinker 3

tinker [entry 4, singular]

[British] when you make small changes to something (8 of 32 words, 1 usage example, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/tinker 4

Encarta Dictionary:

tinker | tinkers [plural] | tinkered [past tense] | tinkering [present participle]

a clumsy or unskillful worker, especially at repair work | somebody able to do many different kinds of work successfully | an act of fiddling with ... (24 of 170 words, 9 definitions, pronunciation)

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861720419​/definition​.html  [offline]

Etymology references

Online Etymology:

tinker

Origin: "mender of kettles, pots, pans, and so on...," mid-13th century (as a surname), of uncertain origin. Some connect the word with the sound made by ... (25 of 76 etymology words)

www​.etymonline​.com​/index​.php term=tinker

New World Dictionary:

tinker

Origin: Middle English tinkere from perhaps or akin to tinken, to make a tinkling sound

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/tinker

Oxford Dictionary:

tinker | cuss | damn

Origin: Middle English (first recorded in Anglo-Latin as a surname): of unknown origin

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/tinker

Collins Dictionary:

tinker

First use: 13th century

Origin: tinkere, perhaps from tink tinkle, of imitative origin

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/tinker

Wiktionary:

tinker | tinkers [plural] | tinkered [past tense] | tinkering [present participle]

Origin: Middle English tinkere

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/tinker

American Heritage Dictionary:

tinker | tinkered [past tense] | tinkering [present participle] | tinkers [3rd-person singular present]

Origin: Middle English tinkere.

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/tinker

Merriam-Webster:

tinker [entry 1, noun]

First use: 14th century

Origin: Middle English tinkere

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/tinker

Audio references

Collins Dictionary:

tinker

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "tinker"

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/tinker

Macmillan British Dictionary:

tinker [countable, noun] | tinkers [plural]

Audio: British English pronunciation of "tinker"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/tinker 8

tinker [intransitive] | tinkered [past tense] | tinkering [present participle] | tinkers [3rd-person singular present]

Audio: British English pronunciation of "tinker"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/tinker

Macmillan American Dictionary:

tinker [intransitive] | tinkered [past tense] | tinkering [present participle] | tinkers [3rd-person singular present]

Audio: North American pronunciation of "tinker"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/american​/tinker

tinker [countable, noun] | tinkers [plural]

Audio: North American pronunciation of "tinker"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/american​/tinker 8

Cambridge Dictionary:

tinker [entry 1]

Audio 1: British English pronunuciation of "tinker"

Audio 2: North American English pronunuciation of "tinker"

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/tinker 1

the Free Dictionary:

tinker

Audio 1: North American English pronunciation of "tinker"

Audio 2: British English pronunciation of "tinker"

Audio 3: North American English pronunciation of "tinker" by speech synthesizer

www​.thefreedictionary​.com​/tinker

Google Dictionary:

tinker | tinkers [plural] | tinkered [past tense] | tinkering [present participle]

Audio: English pronunciation of "tinker"

www​.google​.com​/#hl=en&tbs=dfn​:1&fp=1&q=tinker

Merriam-Webster Pronunciation:

tinker

Audio: North American pronunciation of "tinker"

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/audio​.php file=tinker​01 word=tinker

YourDictionary Audio:

tinker

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "tinker" by speech synthesizer

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/tinker

Page last updated: 2013-06-26

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