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tinkle

[ting-kuh l] /ˈtɪŋ kəl/
verb (used without object), tinkled, tinkling.
1.
to give forth or make a succession of short, light, ringing sounds, as a small bell.
2.
to run one's fingers lightly over a keyboard instrument or to play such an instrument simply or badly.
3.
Baby Talk. to urinate.
verb (used with object), tinkled, tinkling.
4.
to cause to tinkle or jingle:
The goat tinkled its bell every time it raised its head. Who's tinkling the piano?
5.
to make known, call attention to, attract, or summon by tinkling.
noun
6.
a tinkling sound or tune.
7.
an act or instance of tinkling.
8.
Informal. a telephone call:
Give me a tinkle before you leave for Europe.
Origin of tinkle
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English tynclen, frequentative of tinken to clink; imitative
Related forms
outtinkle, verb (used with object), outtinkled, outtinkling.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tinkle
Historical Examples
  • Gracie asked, running off the final notes in a tinkle of melody.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • Joseph heard the tinkle of a falling blade, and assumed it to be Kenneth's.

    The Tavern Knight Rafael Sabatini
  • A tinkle of cutlery and a slight jingle of glasses were heard.

    End of the Tether Joseph Conrad
  • Not until the fourth tinkle had been heard was there any other sound within the house.

    Shoulder-Straps Henry Morford
  • There was a tinkle at my bell, and I left her to open the door.

    The Moon and Sixpence W. Somerset Maugham
  • From the gallery overhead came the tinkle of a rota, a kind of guitar.

  • Presently I heard the tinkle of a bell from the box which he had unlocked.

    With The Eyes Shut Edward Bellamy
  • I'm going straight for the point where the tinkle of the bell came from.

    The Hunters of the Ozark Edward S. Ellis
  • I rang the bell and heard its tinkle far away within the dwelling.

    Dross

    Henry Seton Merriman
  • Miss Junk appeared in answer to the tinkle of the bell and removed the food.

    The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume
British Dictionary definitions for tinkle

tinkle

/ˈtɪŋkəl/
verb
1.
to ring or cause to ring with a series of high tinny sounds, like a small bell
2.
(transitive) to announce or summon by such a ringing
3.
(intransitive) (Brit, informal) to urinate
noun
4.
a high clear ringing sound
5.
the act of tinkling
6.
(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
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Word Origin and History for tinkle
v.

"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
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Slang definitions & phrases for tinkle

tinkle

noun

A telephone call •Chiefly in the expression give someone a tinkle (1938+)

verb

To urinate; pee •A nursery use (1950+)

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