American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A traveling mender of metal household utensils.
- n. Chiefly British A member of any of various traditionally itinerant groups of people living especially in Scotland and Ireland; a traveler.
- n. One who enjoys experimenting with and repairing machine parts.
- n. A clumsy repairer or worker; a meddler.
- v. To work as a tinker.
- v. To make unskilled or experimental efforts at repair; fiddle: tinkered with the engine, hoping to discover the trouble; tinkering with the economy by trying various fiscal policies.
- v. To mend as a tinker.
- v. To manipulate unskillfully or experimentally.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A playfully abusive epithet for a child.
- n. A mender of household utensils of tin, brass, copper, and iron; one who goes from place to place with tools and appliances for mending kettles, pans, etc. Tinkers have usually been regarded as the lowest order of craftsmen, and their occupation has been often pursued, especially by gipsies, as a mere cover for vagabondage.
- n. The act of mending, especially metal-work; the doing of the work of a tinker.
- n. A botcher; a bungler; an unskilful or clumsy worker; one who makes bungling attempts at making or mending something; also, a “jack of all trades,” not necessarily unskilful.
- n. An awkward or unskilful effort to do something; a tinkering attempt; a botch; a bungle.
- n. In ordnance, a small mortar fixed on a stake, and fired by a trigger and lanyard.
- n. A small mackerel, or one about two years old; also, the chub-mackerel. See tinker mackerel, under mackerel.
- n. The silversides, a fish. See cut under silver-sides.
- n. A stickleback, specifically the tenspined, Gasterosteus (or Pygosteus) pungitius.
- n. The skate.
- n. The razor-billed auk, Alca or Utamania torda. See cut under razorbill.
- n. A kind of seal. [Newfoundland.] A guillemot. Also tinkershire.
- To repair or put to rights, as a piece of metal-work.
- To repair or put into shape rudely, temporarily, or as an unskilled workman: used in allusion to the imperfect and makeshift character of ordinary work in metals: often with up, to patch up.
- To do the work of a tinker upon metal or the like.
- To work generally in an experimental or botchy way; occupy one's self with a thing carelessly or in a meddlesome way: as, to tinker with the tariff.
- n. an itinerant tinsmith and mender of household utensils made of tin
- n. dated, offensive A member of the travelling community. A gypsy.
- n. usually with "little" A mischievous person, especially a playful, impish youngster.
- n. Someone who repairs, or attempts repair on anything mechanical (tinkers) or invents.
- n. The act of repair or invention.
- v. to fiddle with something in an attempt to fix, mend or improve it, especially in an experimental or unskilled manner
- v. to work as a tinker
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A mender of brass kettles, pans, and other metal ware.
- n. One skilled in a variety of small mechanical work.
- n. (Ordnance) A small mortar on the end of a staff.
- n. Prov. Eng., Prov. Eng. A young mackerel about two years old.
- n. Prov. Eng., Prov. Eng. The chub mackerel.
- n. Prov. Eng., Prov. Eng. The silversides.
- n. Prov. Eng. A skate.
- n. (Zoöl.) The razor-billed auk.
- v. To mend or solder, as metal wares; hence, more generally, to mend.
- v. To busy one's self in mending old kettles, pans, etc.; to play the tinker; to be occupied with small mechanical works.
- v. work as a tinker or tinkerer
- v. do random, unplanned work or activities or spend time idly
- n. small mackerel found nearly worldwide
- n. a person who enjoys fixing and experimenting with machines and their parts
- v. try to fix or mend
- n. formerly a person (traditionally a Gypsy) who traveled from place to place mending pots and kettles and other metal utensils as a way to earn a living
- From Middle English tinkere (Wiktionary)
- Middle English tinkere. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“To many people, guns are like cars before cars were operated by 18 computers; the urge to tinker is irresistible.”
“I think the freedom to tinker is a key, fundamental freedom whose importance is growing as we depend more and more on software and computer hardware.”
“Though he is usually called a tinker, Bunyan had a settled home and place of business.”
“I am criticised for the expression tinker up in the preface.”
“Particularly in the north of England and Scotland the word tinker was applied not only to people who roamed around fixing kitchenware, but to any vagrant or itinerant.”
“But this good feeling surrounding the word tinker is a complete turnaround for the word.”
“I think it's pretty common and as such the word tinker has a vaguely positive tone to it.”
“J has called her tinker bell since tuesday so I guess the poor baby has a nickname already.”
“Whilst drinking his beer he cheered the heart of the sorrowful Jack Slingsby by buying his whole tinker's stock-in-trade -- beat, plant, pony, and all -- concluding that "a tinker is his own master, a scholar is not.”
“A tinker is a tinker wherever you find him, a strong farmer a strong farmer, a landlord a landlord.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘tinker’.
lots and lots of fish, a piscatorial
Alle Menschen werden Brüder - sooner or later? Derogatory terms for anybody different.
A nonce word is a word used only "for the nonce"—to meet a need that is not expected to recur. Quark, for example, was formerly a nonce word in English, appearing only in James Joyce's Finnegans Wa...
unkind words or those refering them.
My boyfriend and I started this list my Junior or Senior year of High school. It hasn't been added to in a while. It was a list of words that we thought sounded universally cute or had universal as...
e.g. 'Wells' for someone living near a well or a spring.
What?! And I'm supposed to pay for your lousy work, you... you...
an immense, grandiloquent list that loads like a thousand years sentence in stone. new words are in the other lists.
My big word list.
mostly from magoosh
Looking for tweets for tinker.