tin god

[ tin-god ]
See synonyms for tin god on Thesaurus.com
  1. a self-important, dictatorial person in a position of authority, such as an employer, military officer, critic, or teacher.

  2. a person who believes they are infallible and tries to impose judgments, beliefs, standards of behavior, etc., on subordinates.

Origin of tin god

First recorded in 1885–90

Words Nearby tin god

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use tin god in a sentence

  • A little tin god has a pleasant time of it, no doubt, until the coming of the eighteen carat gold idol.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine | Joseph C. Lincoln
  • A week or two more and the "little tin god" would go down off his wheels.

    A Soldier of the Legion | C. N. Williamson
  • "Oh, your little tin god on wheels is not the only one," replied Helena, the astute.

    The Californians | Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton
  • The Boss pirate was shot by me—a big six foot Northern Chinee, got up, to kill, like a tin god.

    The Mandarin's Fan | Fergus Hume
  • His prime predilection was Lamont, of whom, their mutual acquaintances were wont to pronounce, he made a little tin god on wheels.

    In the Whirl of the Rising | Bertram Mitford

British Dictionary definitions for tin god

tin god

  1. a self-important dictatorial person

  2. a person erroneously regarded as holy or venerable

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with tin god

tin god

A self-important, dictatorial, petty person who imposes ideas, beliefs, and standards on subordinates. For example, The officials in these small towns often act like tin gods. The tin in this expression alludes to the fact that tin is a base metal with relatively little value. [Late 1800s]

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