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[tif-in] /ˈtɪf ɪn/ British Informal.
verb (used without object)
to eat lunch.
verb (used with object)
to provide lunch for; serve lunch to.
Origin of tiffin
1775-85; variant of *tiffing, equivalent to tiff (obsolete) to sip, drink + -ing1


[tif-in] /ˈtɪf ɪn/
a city in N Ohio. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for tiffin
Historical Examples
  • I only charge a dollar for the tiffin, and one dollar and fifty cents for the dinner.

    Falk Joseph Conrad
  • General, your tiffin was a beauty, but your Camp—was very sad!

    The Petticoat Commando

    Johanna Brandt
  • First tiffin will come with the lighted candle: “Beau temps, monsieur.”

    High Adventure James Norman Hall
  • tiffin goes on outpost and reports three civilians approaching.

    High Adventure James Norman Hall
  • At tiffin that noon on the Negros I told the story to the others.

    Where the Strange Trails Go Down E. Alexander Powell
  • He dined at seven o'clock, but I could give my own orders as to breakfast and tiffin.

    The Fixed Period

    Anthony Trollope
  • At noon we stopped at a handy inn or tea-house for tiffin and a long rest.

    A Wayfarer in China Elizabeth Kendall
  • Our first day's halt for tiffin was at the small hamlet of P'u chi.

    A Wayfarer in China Elizabeth Kendall
  • We stopped for tiffin by a broad stream bordered by willows.

    A Wayfarer in China Elizabeth Kendall
  • I found him as comfortably at tiffin as if he were at his own house in London.

    Burlesques William Makepeace Thackeray
British Dictionary definitions for tiffin


(in India) a light meal, esp one taken at midday
Word Origin
C18: probably from obsolete tiffing, from tiff to sip
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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