• Tinker


    • UK IPA: /tɪŋkə(ɹ)/
    • Rhymes: -ɪŋkə(r)


    From Middle English tinkere

    Full definition of tinker



    (plural tinkers)
    1. an itinerant tinsmith and mender of household utensils made of tin
    2. (dated, chiefly British and Irish, offensive) A member of the travelling community. A gypsy.
    3. (usually with "little") A mischievous person, especially a playful, impish youngster.
    4. Someone who repairs, or attempts repair on anything mechanical (tinkers) or invents.
    5. The act of repair or invention.
    6. (military, obsolete) A small mortar on the end of a staff.
    7. Any of various fish: the chub mackerel, the silverside, the skate, or a young mackerel about two years old.
    8. A bird, the razor-billed auk.



    1. To fiddle with something in an attempt to fix, mend or improve it, especially in an experimental or unskilled manner.
      • 2012-01, Robert M. Pringle, How to Be Manipulative, As in much of biology, the most satisfying truths in ecology derive from manipulative experimentation. Tinker with nature and quantify how it responds.
    2. To work as a tinker.


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