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See more synonyms for tinny on Thesaurus.com
adjective, tin·ni·er, tin·ni·est.
  1. of or like tin.
  2. containing tin.
  3. lacking in timbre or resonance; sounding thin or twangy: a tinny piano.
  4. not strong or durable; flimsy; shoddy.
  5. having the taste of tin.
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Origin of tinny

First recorded in 1545–55; tin + -y1
Related formstin·ni·ly, adverbtin·ni·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for tinny

golden, silvery, iron, mineral, hard, leaden, fusible, geologic, metallurgic, stannic, tinny

Examples from the Web for tinny

Contemporary Examples of tinny

Historical Examples of tinny

  • Against the scene a jazz band flung a whine and a stumble of tinny sounds.

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht

  • That's only a tinny sort of glitter just now, but you should see the moon rise over it.

    Mushroom Town

    Oliver Onions

  • The words were in English—the tinny, saw-cut English of the native-bred, and the chaplain jumped.


    Rudyard Kipling

  • A tinny voice said with formal cordiality that he did, indeed.

    Operation Terror

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

  • The tinny voice said hastily that Lockley should speak to the general himself.

    Operation Terror

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

British Dictionary definitions for tinny


adjective -nier or -niest
  1. of, relating to, or resembling tin
  2. cheap, badly made, or shoddy
  3. (of a sound) high, thin, and metallic
  4. (of food or drink) flavoured with metal, as from a container
  5. Australian informal lucky
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noun plural -nies
  1. Australian slang a can of beer
  2. Also: tinnie Australian informal a small fishing or pleasure boat with an aluminium hull
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Derived Formstinnily, adverbtinniness, noun
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 tinny


1550s, from tin + -y (2). Used figuratively (of sounds, etc.) since 1877.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper