or tin·pot

[ tin-pot ]
/ ˈtɪnˈpɒt /


inferior; paltry; shoddy: The tin-pot farce lasted only three performances before closing.
of minor importance or significance: a tin-pot dictator, trying to look like a statesman.



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Origin of tin-pot

First recorded in 1835–45; tin (from the believed inferior quality of a tin pot) + pot1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for tin-pot

  • "The tinpot style," said Mr. Britling at last in a voice of extreme bitterness.

  • When they came at last, in their tinpot hats, they got out half a dozen big squirts and rushed into the building with them.

    A Book of Burlesques|H. L. Mencken
  • England will blow your trumpery little fleet out of the water and sweep your tinpot army into Siberia for this.

    Great Catherine|George Bernard Shaw
  • Nayland is a stuffed shirt of the first stuffing, and a tinpot Hitler to boot, but he is fanatically and incorruptibly patriotic.

    The Mercenaries|Henry Beam Piper

British Dictionary definitions for tin-pot

/ (ˈtɪnˌpɒt) /

adjective (prenominal) British informal

inferior, cheap, or worthless
paltry; unimportant
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