[tif-in]British Informal.


verb (used without object)

to eat lunch.

verb (used with object)

to provide lunch for; serve lunch to.


Origin of tiffin

1775–85; variant of *tiffing, equivalent to tiff (obsolete) to sip, drink + -ing1




a city in N Ohio.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tiffin

Historical Examples of tiffin

  • I only charge a dollar for the tiffin, and one dollar and fifty cents for the dinner.


    Joseph Conrad

  • General, your tiffin was a beauty, but your Camp—was very sad!

  • First Tiffin will come with the lighted candle: “Beau temps, monsieur.”

    High Adventure

    James Norman Hall

  • Tiffin goes on outpost and reports three civilians approaching.

    High Adventure

    James Norman Hall

  • At tiffin that noon on the Negros I told the story to the others.

British Dictionary definitions for tiffin



(in India) a light meal, esp one taken at midday

Word Origin for tiffin

C18: probably from obsolete tiffing, from tiff to sip
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