Try Our Apps


Gobble up these 8 terms for eating


[ting-kuh l] /ˈtɪŋ kəl/
verb (used without object), tinkled, tinkling.
to give forth or make a succession of short, light, ringing sounds, as a small bell.
to run one's fingers lightly over a keyboard instrument or to play such an instrument simply or badly.
Baby Talk. to urinate.
verb (used with object), tinkled, tinkling.
to cause to tinkle or jingle:
The goat tinkled its bell every time it raised its head. Who's tinkling the piano?
to make known, call attention to, attract, or summon by tinkling.
a tinkling sound or tune.
an act or instance of tinkling.
Informal. a telephone call:
Give me a tinkle before you leave for Europe.
Origin of tinkle
1350-1400; Middle English tynclen, frequentative of tinken to clink; imitative
Related forms
outtinkle, verb (used with object), outtinkled, outtinkling. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for tinkling
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • After I had been seated a short time, I heard the tinkling of ornaments and smelt a powerful perfume.

    Hindoo Tales Translated by P. W. Jacob
  • The icy, tinkling giggle of the mother breaks in upon the thought.

    The Dop Doctor Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • Yet with what a dreamy horror you wake on mornings of snow to that tinkling alarum!

    Dream Life Donald G. Mitchell
  • This made a tinkling noise, and attracted the workman to the front.

    Fil and Filippa John Stuart Thomson
  • When Gresnoi brought the cloak, with its tinkling bells, Morozof pushed him aside.

    The Story of Moscow Wirt Gerrare
  • Suddenly he noticed that the tinkling music of the fountain had ceased.

  • Theron's ears dwelt with eager delight upon the chasing medley of swift, tinkling sounds, but it left his thoughts free.

  • The lovely Bride of tinkling echoed the incredible declaration.

  • When he returned for it he heard, to his relief and surprise, the tinkling of a Mozart Sonata.

    A Room With A View E. M. Forster
British Dictionary definitions for tinkling


to ring or cause to ring with a series of high tinny sounds, like a small bell
(transitive) to announce or summon by such a ringing
(intransitive) (Brit, informal) to urinate
a high clear ringing sound
the act of tinkling
(Brit, informal) a telephone call
Derived Forms
tinkling, adjective, noun
tinkly, adjective
Word Origin
C14: of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for tinkling



"to make a gentle ringing sound," late 14c., possibly a frequentative form of tinken "to ring, jingle," perhaps of imitative origin. Meaning "to urinate" is recorded from 1960, from childish talk. Related: Tinkled; tinkling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for tinkling


n,n phr

A petty but flashy gambler, or any person with those characteristics: denunciations of punks, tin-horns, and gyps

[entry form 1857+, variant 1885+; fr the horn-shaped metal can used by chuck-a-luck operators for shaking the dice; the notion of inferiority comes fr the presumed superiority of other, more sophisticated kinds of gambling, and fr the generalized inferiority of tin to other metals]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for tinkling

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for tinkling