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2017 Word of the Year

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 tinkling
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • 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 Ameen Rihani
  • It rolls on with ease, it glides as it dances to the tinkling of its anklets.

    My Reminiscences Rabindranath Tagore
  • 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 Edna Ferber
  • The Prophet heard at times the noise of the tinkling of a bell.

    The Faith of Islam Edward Sell
  • However, the tinkling of the bell of the iron church suggested an idea.

    That Stick Charlotte M. Yonge
  • She laughed half under her breath, a pretty, tinkling laugh.

    A Soldier of the Legion C. N. Williamson
  • But, just at her last gasp, the girl saw a light, and heard the tinkling of a hammer.

British Dictionary definitions for tinkling

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 tinkling

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 tinkling

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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Word Value for tinkling

13
17
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