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dinky

[ding-kee]
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adjective, dink·i·er, dink·i·est.
  1. Informal. small, unimportant, unimpressive, or shabby: We stayed in a dinky old hotel.
  2. British Informal. fashionable; well dressed; smart.
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noun, plural dink·ies.
  1. dinkey.
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Origin of dinky

1780–90; compare Scots dink neatly dressed, trim (of obscure origin); sense shift perhaps: trim > dainty > small > insignificant; see -y1

dinkey

or dink·y

[ding-kee]
noun, plural dink·eys.
  1. a small locomotive, especially with a switch engine.
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Origin of dinkey

1840–50; noun use of dinky; see -ey2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for dinky

dinky

adjective dinkier or dinkiest informal
  1. British small and neat; dainty
  2. US inconsequential; insignificant
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Word Origin

C18 (in the sense: dainty): from dink
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 dinky

adj.

1788 "neat, trim, dainty, small," from Scottish dialectal dink "finely dressed, trim" (c.1500), of unknown origin. Modern sense is 1850s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper