tip-off

[ tip-awf, -of ]
/ ˈtɪpˌɔf, -ˌɒf /

noun Informal.

the act of tipping off.
a hint or warning: They got a tip-off on the raid.

Origin of tip-off

First recorded in 1910–15; noun use of verb phrase tip off

Definition for tip off (2 of 2)

Origin of tip

3
First recorded in 1600–10; perhaps special use of tip4

Related forms

tip·less, adjectivetip·pa·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for tip off (1 of 5)

tip

1
/ (tɪp) /

noun

the extreme end of something, esp a narrow or pointed end
the top or summit
a small piece forming an extremity or enda metal tip on a cane

verb tips, tipping or tipped (tr)

to adorn or mark the tip of
to cause to form a tip

Derived Forms

tipless, adjective

Word Origin for tip

C15: from Old Norse typpa; related to Middle Low German, Middle Dutch tip

British Dictionary definitions for tip off (2 of 5)

tip

2
/ (tɪp) /

verb tips, tipping or tipped

to tilt or cause to tilt
(usually foll by over or up) to tilt or cause to tilt, so as to overturn or fall
British to dump (rubbish, etc)
tip one's hat to take off, raise, or touch one's hat in salutation

noun

the act of tipping or the state of being tipped
British a dump for refuse, etc

Derived Forms

tippable, adjective

Word Origin for tip

C14: of uncertain origin; related to top 1, topple

British Dictionary definitions for tip off (3 of 5)

tip

3
/ (tɪp) /

noun

a payment given for services in excess of the standard charge; gratuity
a helpful hint, warning, or other piece of information
a piece of inside information, esp in betting or investing

verb tips, tipping or tipped

to give a tip to (a person)

Word Origin for tip

C18: perhaps from tip 4

British Dictionary definitions for tip off (4 of 5)

tip

4
/ (tɪp) /

verb tips, tipping or tipped (tr)

to hit or strike lightly
to hit (a ball) indirectly so that it glances off the bat in cricket

noun

a light blow
a glancing hit in cricket

Word Origin for tip

C13: perhaps from Low German tippen

British Dictionary definitions for tip off (5 of 5)

tip-off

noun

a warning or hint, esp given confidentially and based on inside information
basketball the act or an instance of putting the ball in play by a jump ball

verb tip off

(tr, adverb) to give a hint or warning to
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

Idioms and Phrases with tip off (1 of 2)

tip off

Supply with secret or private information; also, warn or alert. For example, The broker often tipped her off about stocks about to go down in price, or Somehow they were tipped off and left the country before the police could catch them. [Colloquial; late 1800s]


Idioms and Phrases with tip off (2 of 2)

tip

In addition to the idioms beginning with tip

  • tip off
  • tip of the iceberg
  • tip one's hand
  • tip the balance

also see:

  • from head (tip) to toe
  • on the tip of one's tongue

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.