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[tin-ee] /ˈtɪn i/
adjective, tinnier, tinniest.
of or like tin.
containing tin.
lacking in timbre or resonance; sounding thin or twangy:
a tinny piano.
not strong or durable; flimsy; shoddy.
having the taste of tin.
Origin of tinny
1545-55; tin + -y1
Related forms
tinnily, adverb
tinniness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tinny
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She had had him for two days now, and he had quite recovered from his tinny imprisonment.

    Cricket at the Seashore Elizabeth Westyn Timlow
  • That's only a tinny sort of glitter just now, but you should see the moon rise over it.

    Mushroom Town Oliver Onions
  • The tinny clatter of Ted's alarm clock awakened him at half-past three the next morning.

    Double Challenge James Arthur Kjelgaard
  • The words were in English—the tinny, saw-cut English of the native-bred, and the chaplain jumped.

    Kim Rudyard Kipling
  • He began to ease himself into bed again, when he heard the sound, tinny, a little rattle.

  • A tinny voice said with formal cordiality that he did, indeed.

    Operation Terror William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • The little robot stepped back, clapping his hands together with a tinny bang.

  • However, they love it, and the dismal piano beats a tinny accompaniment.

    Letters to Helen Keith Henderson
British Dictionary definitions for tinny


adjective -nier, -niest
of, relating to, or resembling tin
cheap, badly made, or shoddy
(of a sound) high, thin, and metallic
(of food or drink) flavoured with metal, as from a container
(Austral, informal) lucky
noun (pl) -nies
(Austral, slang) a can of beer
(Austral, informal) Also tinnie. a small fishing or pleasure boat with an aluminium hull
Derived Forms
tinnily, adverb
tinniness, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for tinny

1550s, from tin + -y (2). Used figuratively (of sounds, etc.) since 1877.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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