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[tip-awf, -of] /ˈtɪpˌɔf, -ˌɒf/
noun, Informal.
the act of tipping off.
a hint or warning:
They got a tip-off on the raid.
Origin of tip-off
First recorded in 1910-15; noun use of verb phrase tip off Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for tip-off
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "The type of resistance offered will be a tip-off to the Guard," he said.

    The Best Made Plans Everett B. Cole
  • And if that doesn't mean anything to you, here's the tip-off.

  • The tip-off was the hundred percent pregnancy of one whole test-batch.

    Breeder Reaction Winston Marks
  • That was after the tip-off, as a freshman girl told Mrs. Lee.

    Betty Lee, Sophomore

    David Goodger (
  • Jacques nodded, explaining that the message, relayed by tip-off men to his uncle, had been intended for Joe Matt.

  • The gang is composed of tip-off men, highjackers, a lawyer and a bail bondsman.

  • And thats the tip-off on any shack in this burg thatll hold a crowd, a screen and a projecting machine all at the same time.

    Local Color Irvin S. Cobb
  • It wasn't until early on the morning of the third day after Howley's arrest that I got a tip-off from one of my part-time spies.

    ...Or Your Money Back Gordon Randall Garrett
  • That's the tip-off; when a souse won't listen to your gentle voice, it's time to change your system of approach.

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan
British Dictionary definitions for tip-off


a warning or hint, esp given confidentially and based on inside information
(basketball) the act or an instance of putting the ball in play by a jump ball
(transitive, adverb) to give a hint or warning to
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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Slang definitions & phrases for tip-off



A revealing, esp a warning; a particularly useful clue: the tip-off on what's ahead (1901+)

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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