English Dictionary

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tinker (ˈtɪŋkə



  1. (esp formerly) a travelling mender of pots and pans
  2. a clumsy worker
  3. the act of tinkering
  4. (Scottish & and Irish) another name for Gypsy
  5. (British, informal) a mischievous child
  6. any of several small mackerels that occur off the North American coast of the Atlantic



  1. (intransitive) foll by with to play, fiddle, or meddle (with machinery, etc), esp while undertaking repairs
  2. to mend (pots and pans) as a tinker

Derived Forms

ˈtinkerer  noun

Word Origin

C13 tinkere, perhaps from tink tinkle, of imitative origin


View thesaurus entry
= meddle, play, toy, monkey, potter, fiddle (informal), dabble, mess about, muck about (British) (slang)

Translations for 'tinker'

  • British English: tinker If you tinker with something, you make some small changes to it, in an attempt to improve it or repair it. VERB
  • Brazilian Portuguese: remendar
  • Chinese: 小修改
  • European Spanish: retocar
  • French: bricoler
  • German: herumbasteln
  • Italian: armeggiare
  • Japanese: いじる
  • Korean: 어설프게 손보다
  • Portuguese: remendar
  • Spanish: retocar


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