tinkle

[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.

noun


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

Related Words for tinkle

sound, jangle, ding, tingle, chime, clink, chink, ting, plink

Examples from the Web for tinkle

Historical Examples of tinkle

  • Gracie asked, running off the final notes in a tinkle of melody.

  • Joseph heard the tinkle of a falling blade, and assumed it to be Kenneth's.

    The Tavern Knight

    Rafael Sabatini

  • A tinkle of cutlery and a slight jingle of glasses were heard.

    End of the Tether

    Joseph Conrad

  • Not until the fourth tinkle had been heard was there any other sound within the house.

    Shoulder-Straps

    Henry Morford

  • There was a tinkle at my bell, and I left her to open the door.

    The Moon and Sixpence

    W. Somerset Maugham


British Dictionary definitions for tinkle

tinkle

verb

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

noun

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
v.

"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