[ting-kuh l]

verb (used without object), tin·kled, tin·kling.

verb (used with object), tin·kled, tin·kling.

to cause to tinkle or jingle: The goat tinkled its bell every time it raised its head. Who's tinkling the piano?
to make known, call attention to, attract, or summon by tinkling.


Nearby words

  1. tinker's dam,
  2. tinker's damn,
  3. tinker's weed,
  4. tinkerman,
  5. tinkertoy,
  6. tinkly,
  7. tinley park,
  8. tinman,
  9. tinned,
  10. tinner

Origin of tinkle

1350–1400; Middle English tynclen, frequentative of tinken to clink; imitative

Related formsout·tin·kle, verb (used with object), out·tin·kled, out·tin·kling.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tinkle

British Dictionary definitions for tinkle



to ring or cause to ring with a series of high tinny sounds, like a small bell
(tr) to announce or summon by such a ringing
(intr) British informal to urinate


a high clear ringing sound
the act of tinkling
British informal a telephone call
Derived Formstinkling, adjective, nountinkly, adjective

Word Origin for tinkle

C14: 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

Word Origin and History for tinkle



"to make a gentle ringing sound," late 14c., possibly a frequentative form of tinken "to ring, jingle," perhaps of imitative origin. Meaning "to urinate" is recorded from 1960, from childish talk. Related: Tinkled; tinkling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper