Origin of tinfoil

First recorded in 1425–75, tinfoil is from the late Middle English word tynfoile. See tin, foil2
Also called, British, silver paper.
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British Dictionary definitions for tinfoil


  1. thin foil made of tin or an alloy of tin and lead
  2. thin foil made of aluminium; used for wrapping foodstuffs
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 tinfoil

late 15c., from tin (n.) + foil (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper