From Middle English tinkere, perhaps from Old English *tincere, from tin (“tin”) + Old English *cere (as in bēocere (“beekeeper”)), from Proto-Germanic *kazjaz (“vessel-maker”), from Proto-Germanic *kazą (“vessel; vat; tub”).
- (UK) IPA(key): /tɪŋkə(ɹ)/
- (General American) IPA(key): /tɪŋkɚ/
- Hyphenation: tin‧ker
- Rhymes: -ɪŋkə(r)
tinker (plural tinkers)
- An itinerant tinsmith and mender of household utensils made of metal.
- (dated, chiefly Britain and Ireland, offensive) A member of the Irish Traveller community. A gypsy.
- (usually with "little") A mischievous person, especially a playful, impish youngster.
- Someone who repairs, or attempts repair, on anything mechanical, or who invents such devices; one who tinkers; a tinkerer.
- The act of repair or invention. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
- (military, obsolete) A hand mortar.
- Any of various fish: the chub mackerel, the silverside, the skate, or a young mackerel about two years old.
- A bird, the razor-billed auk.
- (mischievous person): rapscallion, rascal, rogue, scamp, scoundrel
- (member of the travelling community): traveller
- (intransitive) To fiddle with something in an attempt to fix, mend or improve it, especially in an experimental or unskilled manner.
- 2020 May 20, “Network News: LNER seeks innovation through FutureLabs project”, in Rail, page 14:
- We're not just talking about changes that tinker around the edges - we're looking to take advantage of some of the world's latest digital and tech developments to improve our service.
- (intransitive) To work as a tinker.
- (transitive) To tinker with; to tweak or attempt to fix.
- G. K. Chesterton
- the broken bureau-lock and tinkered window-pane
- 2013, Eric Goulard, Body Language Secrets Revealed:
- And because he wants to show that he is a dominant male, he tinkered the engine of his motorbike to make it even noisier.
- G. K. Chesterton