[ ting-ker ]
/ ˈtɪŋ kər /
a mender of pots, kettles, pans, etc., usually an itinerant.
an unskillful or clumsy worker; bungler. a person skilled in various minor kinds of mechanical work; jack-of-all-trades.
an act or instance of tinkering: Let me have a tinker at that motor.
Scot., Irish English.
- a Romani living in the British Isles; a Traveler.
- any itinerant worker.
- a wanderer.
- a beggar.
verb (used without object)
to busy oneself with a thing without useful results: Stop tinkering with that clock and take it to the repair shop.
to work unskillfully or clumsily at anything.
to do the work of a tinker.
verb (used with object)
to mend as a tinker.
to repair in an unskillful, clumsy, or makeshift way.
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Origin of tinker
First recorded in 1225–75; Middle English tinkere (noun), syncopated variant of tinekere “worker in tin”
OTHER WORDS FROM tinkertin·ker·er, nounun·tin·kered, adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
Example sentences from the Web for tinker
The fundamental difference between the two is that Keynes is something of a tinkerer.
It was standard for the tinkerer, for the would-be designer of robot bodies.
He was a natural mechanic, a maker and tinkerer of machines; he lisped in blueprints for the blueprints came.
He was something of a tinkerer, and he enjoyed adapting his environment to himself.
(esp formerly) a travelling mender of pots and pans
a clumsy worker
the act of tinkering
Scot and Irish another name for Gypsy
British informal a mischievous child
any of several small mackerels that occur off the North American coast of the Atlantic
(intr foll by with) to play, fiddle, or meddle (with machinery, etc), esp while undertaking repairs
to mend (pots and pans) as a tinker
Derived forms of tinkertinkerer, noun
Word Origin for tinker
C13 tinkere, perhaps from tink tinkle, of imitative origin
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
In addition to the idiom beginning with tinker
- not worth a damn (tinker's damn)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.