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See also: Tinkle



From Middle English tinclen, equivalent to tink +‎ -le (frequentative suffix).



tinkle (third-person singular simple present tinkles, present participle tinkling, simple past and past participle tinkled)

  1. (intransitive) To make light metallic sounds, rather like a very small bell.
    The glasses tinkled together as they were placed on the table.
    • Dodsley
      The sprightly horse / Moves to the music of his tinkling bells.
  2. (intransitive, informal, juvenile) To urinate.
  3. (transitive) To cause to tinkle.
  4. (transitive) To indicate, signal, etc. by tinkling.
    The butler tinkled dinner.
  5. To hear, or resound with, a small, sharp sound.
    • Dryden
      And his ears tinkled, and the colour fled.


Derived terms[edit]



tinkle (plural tinkles)

  1. A light metallic sound, resembling the tinkling of bells or wind chimes.
    • 1994, Stephen Fry, chapter 2, in The Hippopotamus:
      At the very moment he cried out, David realised that what he had run into was only the Christmas tree. . . . There were no sounds of any movement upstairs: no shouts, no sleepy grumbles, only a gentle tinkle from the decorations as the tree had recovered from the collision.
  2. (Britain, informal) A telephone call.
    Give me a tinkle when you arrive.
  3. (informal, euphemistic) An act of urination.