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  1. a slender or pointed end or extremity, especially of anything long or tapered: the tips of the fingers.
  2. the top, summit, or apex: the tip of the mountain.
  3. a small piece or part, as of metal or leather, forming or covering the extremity of something: a cane with a rubber tip.
  4. Also called tip-in, tip-on. an insert, as an illustration, map, or errata slip, pasted to a page of a book, magazine, etc., usually along the binding margin.
  5. a small, delicate tool made of fine hair cemented between two cards, for applying gold leaf.
verb (used with object), tipped, tip·ping.
  1. to furnish with a tip.
  2. to serve as or form the tip of.
  3. to mark or adorn the tip of.
  4. to remove the tip or stem of (berries or certain fruits or vegetables).
  5. to frost the ends of (hair strands): I'm having my hair cut and tipped tomorrow.
Verb Phrases
  1. tip in, Bookbinding. to paste the inner margin of (a map, illustration, or other plate) into a signature before gathering.

Origin of tip1

1175–1225; Middle English; compare Dutch, Low German, Danish tip, Swedish tipp, German zipf- in Zipfel tip
Related formstip·less, adjective


verb (used with object), tipped, tip·ping.
  1. to cause to assume a slanting or sloping position; incline; tilt.
  2. to overturn, upset, or overthrow (often followed by over).
  3. to remove or lift (one's hat or cap) in salutation.
  4. British. to dispose of by dumping: The dustmen tipped the rubbish on the municipal dump.
verb (used without object), tipped, tip·ping.
  1. to assume a slanting or sloping position; incline.
  2. to tilt up at one end and down at the other; slant.
  3. to be overturned or upset: The car tipped into the ditch.
  4. to tumble or topple (usually followed by over): The lamp on the table tipped over.
  1. the act of tipping.
  2. the state of being tipped.
  3. British.
    1. a dump for refuse, as that from a mine.
    2. Informal.an untidy place, especially a room: They must have packed and left in a rush, because the place is an absolute tip.
  1. tip one's hand, to reveal one's plans, true feelings, etc., often unintentionally.

Origin of tip2

1300–50; earlier tipen, Middle English typen to upset, overturn
Related formstip·pa·ble, adjectiveun·tip·pa·ble, adjective


  1. a small present of money given directly to someone for performing a service or menial task; gratuity: He gave the waiter a dollar as a tip.
  2. a piece of private or secret information, as for use in betting, speculating, or writing a news story: a tip from a bookie.
  3. a useful hint or idea; a basic, practical fact: tips on painting.
verb (used with object), tipped, tip·ping.
  1. to give a gratuity to.
verb (used without object), tipped, tip·ping.
  1. to give a gratuity: She tipped lavishly.
Verb Phrases
  1. tip off, Informal.
    1. to supply with private or secret information; inform.
    2. to warn of impending danger or trouble; caution beforehand: The moonshiners had been tipped off that they were about to be raided.

Origin of tip3

First recorded in 1600–10; perhaps special use of tip4
Related formstip·less, adjectivetip·pa·ble, adjective


See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
3. suggestion, pointer.


  1. a light, smart blow; tap.
  2. Baseball. a batted ball that glances off the bat.Compare foul tip.
verb (used with object), tipped, tip·ping.
  1. to strike or hit with a light, smart blow; tap.
  2. Baseball. to strike (the ball) with a glancing blow.

Origin of tip4

1425–75; late Middle English (noun); perhaps < Low German; compare German tippen to tap < Low German


  1. Eugene (Gladstone),1888–1953, U.S. playwright: Nobel prize 1936.
  2. Thomas P(hilip)Tip, 1912–1994, U.S. politician: congressman 1953–87; speaker of the House 1977–87.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tip

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Often it has been on the tip of my tongue, and then it slipped away from me.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Her tail bristled a little as it curled at the tip like a snake.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • I could see the tip of One-Tusk's trunk go up with a start every time he winded it.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • Git hould of the girl Cynthie, an' give her the tip that things is purty bad.


    W. A. Fraser

  • He was proud of himself, from his silky bangs to the tip of his tasselled tail.

    The Little Colonel

    Annie Fellows Johnston

British Dictionary definitions for tip


  1. the extreme end of something, esp a narrow or pointed end
  2. the top or summit
  3. a small piece forming an extremity or enda metal tip on a cane
verb tips, tipping or tipped (tr)
  1. to adorn or mark the tip of
  2. to cause to form a tip
Derived Formstipless, adjective

Word Origin

C15: from Old Norse typpa; related to Middle Low German, Middle Dutch tip


verb tips, tipping or tipped
  1. to tilt or cause to tilt
  2. (usually foll by over or up) to tilt or cause to tilt, so as to overturn or fall
  3. British to dump (rubbish, etc)
  4. tip one's hat to take off, raise, or touch one's hat in salutation
  1. the act of tipping or the state of being tipped
  2. British a dump for refuse, etc
Derived Formstippable, adjective

Word Origin

C14: of uncertain origin; related to top 1, topple


  1. a payment given for services in excess of the standard charge; gratuity
  2. a helpful hint, warning, or other piece of information
  3. a piece of inside information, esp in betting or investing
verb tips, tipping or tipped
  1. to give a tip to (a person)

Word Origin

C18: perhaps from tip 4


verb tips, tipping or tipped (tr)
  1. to hit or strike lightly
  2. to hit (a ball) indirectly so that it glances off the bat in cricket
  1. a light blow
  2. a glancing hit in cricket

Word Origin

C13: perhaps from Low German tippen


  1. Eugene (Gladstone). 1888–1953, US dramatist. His works, which are notable for their emotional power and psychological analysis, include Desire under the Elms (1924), Strange Interlude (1928), Mourning becomes Elektra (1931), Long Day's Journey into Night (1941), and The Iceman Cometh (1946): Nobel prize for literature 1936
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

Word Origin and History for tip


"to slope, overturn," c.1300, possibly from Scandinavian, or a special use of tip (n.). Intransitive sense of "fall over" is recorded from 1520s. Related: Tipped; tipping. Tipping point attested by 1972.


"end, point, top," early 13c., from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch tip "utmost point, extremity, tip" (cf. German zipfel, a diminutive formation); perhaps cognate with Old English tæppa "stopper" (see tap (n.)), from Proto-Germanic *tupp- "upper extremity." Tip-top is from 1702.


"give a small present of money to," c.1600, "to give, hand, pass," originally thieves' cant, perhaps from tip (v.3) "to tap." The meaning "give a gratuity to" is first attested 1706. The noun in this sense is from 1755; the meaning "piece of confidential information" is from 1845; the verb in this sense is from 1883; tipster first recorded 1862. For urban legendary origin as an acronym, see here .


"light, sharp blow or tap," mid-15c., possibly from Low German tippen "to poke, touch lightly," related to Middle Low German tip "end, point," and thus connected to tip (n.); or else connected with tap (v.) "to strike lightly." The noun in this sense is attested from 1560s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with tip


In addition to the idioms beginning with tip

also see:

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.