- 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.
- 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
Examples from the Web for tinkling
Tessie sat blowing rings of smoke up to the ceiling and tinkling the ice in her tumbler.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show
Robert W. Chambers
February 20, 2014
A bell had been tinkling nearer and nearer on the road ahead.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
Hark, I hear the piping of the shepherd and the tinkling bell of the wether.The Book of Khalid
It rolls on with ease, it glides as it dances to the tinkling of its anklets.My Reminiscences
More shots—streaks of thin red flame, and a tinkling of glass.Prairie Flowers
James B. Hendryx
Gold and sunlight, myrrh and incense, the tinkling of anklets.Gigolo
- to ring or cause to ring with a series of high tinny sounds, like a small bell
- (tr) to announce or summon by such a ringing
- (intr) British informal to urinate
- a high clear ringing sound
- the act of tinkling
- British informal a telephone call
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.