from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The end of a pointed or projecting object.
  • n. A piece or an attachment, such as a cap or ferrule, meant to be fitted to the end of something else: the barbed tip of a harpoon.
  • transitive v. To furnish with a tip.
  • transitive v. To cover or decorate the tip of: tip strawberries with chocolate.
  • transitive v. To remove the tip of: tip artichokes.
  • transitive v. To dye the ends of (hair or fur) in order to blend or improve appearance.
  • tip in Printing To attach (an insert) in a book by gluing along the binding edge: tip in a color plate.
  • transitive v. To push or knock over; overturn or topple: bumped the table and tipped a vase.
  • transitive v. To move to a slanting position; tilt: tipped the sideview mirror slightly downward; a weight that tipped the balance.
  • transitive v. To touch or raise (one's hat) in greeting.
  • transitive v. Chiefly British To empty (something) by overturning; dump.
  • transitive v. Chiefly British To dump (rubbish, for example).
  • intransitive v. To topple over; overturn.
  • intransitive v. To become tilted; slant. See Synonyms at slant.
  • n. The act of tipping.
  • n. A tilt or slant; an incline.
  • n. Chiefly British An area or a place for dumping something, such as rubbish or refuse, as from a mine.
  • idiom tip (one's) hand To reveal one's resources or intentions.
  • idiom tip the scales To register weight (at a certain amount).
  • idiom tip the scales To offset the balance of a situation.
  • transitive v. To strike gently; tap.
  • transitive v. Baseball To hit (a pitched ball) with the side of the bat so that it glances off.
  • transitive v. Sports To tap or deflect (a ball or puck, for example), especially in scoring.
  • intransitive v. Sports To deflect or glance off. Used of a ball or puck.
  • intransitive v. Lower Southern U.S. To tiptoe.
  • n. A light blow; a tap.
  • n. Baseball A pitched ball that is tipped: a foul tip.
  • n. A small sum of money given to someone for performing a service; a gratuity.
  • n. A piece of confidential, advance, or inside information: got a tip on the next race.
  • n. A helpful hint: a column of tips on gardening.
  • transitive v. To give a tip to: tipped the waiter generously.
  • transitive v. To give as a tip: He tipped a dollar and felt that it was enough.
  • transitive v. To provide with a piece of confidential, advance, or inside information: a disgruntled gang member who tipped the police to the planned robbery.
  • intransitive v. To give tips or a tip: one who tips lavishly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The end of a bow of a stringed instrument that is not held.
  • v. To deflect with one′s fingers, especially one′s fingertips
  • n. A recycling centre.
  • n. The act of deflecting with one's fingers, especially the fingertips
  • n. A kick or phase; one's current habits or behaviour.
  • n. A particular arena or sphere of interest; a front.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The point or extremity of anything; a pointed or somewhat sharply rounded end; the end.
  • n. An end piece or part; a piece, as a cap, nozzle, ferrule, or point, applied to the extreme end of anything
  • n. A piece of stiffened lining pasted on the inside of a hat crown.
  • n. A thin, boarded brush made of camel's hair, used by gilders in lifting gold leaf.
  • n. Rubbish thrown from a quarry.
  • n. A light touch or blow; a tap.
  • n. A gift; a douceur; a fee.
  • n. A hint, or secret intimation, as to the chances in a horse race, or the like.
  • intransitive v. To fall on, or incline to, one side.
  • transitive v. To form a point upon; to cover the tip, top, or end of.
  • transitive v. To strike slightly; to tap.
  • transitive v. To bestow a gift, or douceur, upon; to give a present to.
  • transitive v. To lower one end of, or to throw upon the end; to tilt.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To throw up (wool or cotton) so that it will fall in bunches
  • To form, constitute, or cover the tip of; make or put a tip to; cause to appear as a tip, top, or extremity.
  • To strike or hit lightly; tap.
  • To turn from a perpendicular position, as a solid object; cause to lean or slant; tilt; cant: usually implying but slight effort: as, to tip a bottle or a cart to discharge its contents; to tip a table or a chair.
  • To overthrow; overturn.
  • To throw lightly to another; direct toward; give; communicate: as, to tip one a copper.
  • To give private information to in regard to chances, as in betting or speculation.
  • To make a slight gift of money to; gratify with a small present of money, as a child; especially, to make a present of money to (a servant or employee of another), nominally for a service, actual or pretended, rendered or expected to be rendered by such servant or employee in the course of his duty, and for which he is also paid by his employer.
  • In music, same as tongue, 3.
  • To lean or slant from the perpendicular; incline downward or to one side; slant over: as, a carriage tips on an uneven road; to tip first one way and then the other.
  • To give tips or gratuities.
  • n. A horseshoe which covers only the front half of the hoof, with the branches tapered to an edge.
  • n. The upper extremity or top part of anything that is long and slender, tapering, or thin, especially if more or less pointed or rounded: as, the tip of a spire or of a spear; any pointed, tapering, or rounded end or extremity; the outer or exposed termination of anything running to or approximating a point: as, the tip of the tongue; the tips of the fingers; the tip of an arrow (the apex of the arrow-head), of a cigar, or of a pen.
  • n. A small piece or part attached to or forming the extremity of something; an end-piece, an attached point, a ferrule, or the like: as, the iron or copper tips of some shoes; the tip of a scabbard; the tip of a gas-burner; the tip of a stamen (the anther).
  • n. The upper part of the crown of a hat.
  • n. The upper part of the lining of a hat.
  • n. A tool made of pasteboard and long fine hair, used by gilders, as to lay the gold upon the edges of a book; also, a piece of wood covered with Canton flannel, used by book-stampers.
  • n. The separate piece or section of a jointed fishing-rod from the point of which the line runs off the rod through an eye, loop, or ring; a top.
  • n. Same as foothold, 2.
  • n. A light stroke; a tap; in base-ball. a light hitting of the ball with the bat. See foul tip, below.
  • n. A tram or other large container contrived for the rapid transfer of coal by tipping out a whole load of it at once.
  • n. A place or receptacle for the deposit of something by tipping; a place into which garbage or other refuse is tipped; a dump.
  • n. Private or secret information for the benefit of the person to whom it is imparted; especially, a hint or communication pointing to success in a bet or a speculative venture of any kind, as in horse-racing, the buying and selling of stocks or other property, etc.
  • n. A small present of money; a gratuity; especially, a present of money made to a servant or employee of another, nominally for a service rendered or expected. See tip, transitive verb, 6.
  • n. A draught of liquor.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a V shape
  • n. the extreme end of something; especially something pointed
  • v. strike lightly
  • n. the top or extreme point of something (usually a mountain or hill)
  • v. mark with a tip
  • v. remove the tip from
  • v. cause to topple or tumble by pushing
  • n. a relatively small amount of money given for services rendered (as by a waiter)
  • v. give insider information or advise to
  • v. cause to tilt
  • v. give a tip or gratuity to in return for a service, beyond the compensation agreed on
  • n. an indication of potential opportunity
  • v. walk on one's toes
  • v. to incline or bend from a vertical position


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English.
Middle English tipen.
From Middle English tippe, a tap, perhaps of Low German origin.
Origin unknown.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Circa 1225. Not recorded in Old English or Old Norse, but apparently cognate with Dutch tip, East Frisian tip, Danish tip, Swedish tipp. Perhaps cognate with Old English tæppa. Compare Albanian thep ("tip, point").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Possibly from Scandinavian, or a special use of Etymology 1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Of uncertain origin; apparently cognate with Dutch tippen, German tippen, Swedish tippa.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Originally thieves' slang, of uncertain orign.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Probably from to tip ("give, pass") or to tip ("tap"), or a combination of the two.



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  • See the informative essay at World Wide Words.

    February 10, 2015

  • Folk etymology on steroids.

    February 10, 2015

  • (T)o (I)nsure (P)romptness: acronym behind the name for gratuity at an eatery.

    February 8, 2015

  • Auslish for both.

    July 18, 2008

  • Britlish for garbage dump. Also Americanlish for gratuity for services rendered.

    October 4, 2007