\ ˈtin How to pronounce tin (audio) \

Definition of tin

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a soft faintly bluish-white lustrous low-melting crystalline metallic element that is malleable and ductile at ordinary temperatures and that is used especially in containers, as a protective coating, in tinfoil, and in soft solders and alloys — see Chemical Elements Table
2a : a box, can, pan, vessel, or a sheet made of tinplate broadly : such a container of any metal (such as aluminum)
b : a metal container and its contents a tin of tomatoes


tinned; tinning

Definition of tin (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to cover or plate with tin or a tin alloy
2 : to put up or pack in tins : can tinned peaches

Definition of TIN (Entry 3 of 3)

taxpayer identification number

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Other Words from tin


tin adjective
tinful \ ˈtin-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce TIN (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for tin

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of tin in a Sentence

Noun row upon row of tins containing food for an emergency that never happened
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And the edges probably have been nicked from scraping out tin cans. oregonlive, "10 kitchen tools essential for pandemic cooking: 2020 gift guide," 18 Nov. 2020 Spicewalla's colorful tin cans are fun additions to the kitchen, not to mention reusable. Rachel King, Fortune, "Comfort food for your loved ones this year," 1 Nov. 2020 Bryan was seen as far too extreme by those Americans in struggling households when jobs were precious and money was being hoarded in tin cans buried in the backyard. WSJ, "Who’s on That Cross of Gold This November?," 18 Oct. 2020 Otherwise, consider investing in a new jar from a spice retailer such as Curio Spice Co. (www.curiospice.com) or Burlap & Barrel (www.burlapandbarrel.com); a fresh tin of Hungarian paprika from the grocery story is a great option, as well. Washington Post, "Marinate Camembert, Czech-style, for your next low-effort snack," 30 Dec. 2020 People who wrap tin foil around parts of their body can get a reputation pretty quickly. John Pana, cleveland, "What’s the best winter clothing for biking in Northeast Ohio’s freezing temperatures?," 28 Dec. 2020 There, robots separate out the positive samples and deposit them into the wells of tiny, muffin-tin-like plates. Benjamin Mueller, New York Times, "How British Scientists Found the More Infectious Coronavirus Variant," 16 Jan. 2021 The gift baskets Hollis lovingly crafted were beautifully decorated tin buckets filled with ornaments, coloring books, Santa mugs, fuzzy socks, lotion, hot cocoa, jingle bells, playing cards, miniature Christmas trees and other holiday trinkets. Julie Agan, NOLA.com, "Mandeville teen sends buckets of love to homebound seniors in her community," 11 Jan. 2021 The Container Store sells a 10-inch square cookie tin shipper box that fits an 8½ -inch tin perfectly to keep gingerbread Santas from being damaged in transit. Jura Koncius, Washington Post, "Mailing gifts this year? Here are tips from the pros on how to box up your items properly.," 3 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ormolu is an alloy of copper, zinc and sometimes tin, cast into decorative shapes and gilded with a fine gold-mercury mixture. oregonlive, "What do today’s collectors seek? Objects that tell stories of the past," 5 Jan. 2021 The government’s earlier aggressive lockdown devastated the economy and confined many people to tin shacks built an arm’s length apart, with a dozen families sharing an outhouse and many more sharing a water tap. New York Times, "For Covid-19 Vaccines, Some Are Too Rich — and Too Poor," 28 Dec. 2020 Pick a protein Bring on the deli meats (salami! prosciutto! mortadella!) and tinned fish (anchovies! octopus! mussels escabeche!), and don’t be afraid to mix and match. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appétit, "Snack Plates Are the Low-Key Dinner Strategy We Need Right Now," 24 Apr. 2020 Boxes of Jose Gourmet tinned seafood, also called conservas. Los Angeles Times, "A critic’s favorite hack for a quick meal at home," 4 Apr. 2020 Peter Jones/via REUTERS Brits, like just about everyone these days, are stripping supermarket shelves bare of everything from loo roll to tinned food. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "Paper currency is one of the few things Brits aren’t hoarding," 27 Mar. 2020 At its most essential, this soup can be made with noting but butter, onion and tinned tomatoes. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "Recipe: Easy Pantry Tomato Soup," 25 Mar. 2020 Rice, oats, canned tomatoes, tinned fish — all ran low at many Bay Area grocery stores last weekend as shoppers contemplated the spread of the coronavirus. Shwanika Narayan, SFChronicle.com, "What to expect at Bay Area grocery stores this weekend: Don’t panic!," 6 Mar. 2020 These include bread, potatoes, pickles, tinned fruit, UHT milk, wound disinfectants, painkillers, toilet paper, and soap. Isabella Steger, Quartz, "Germans taking part in coronavirus panic-hoarding are doing a “Hamsterkauf”," 2 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tin


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tin


Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German zin tin

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Time Traveler for tin

Time Traveler

The first known use of tin was before the 12th century

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Statistics for tin

Last Updated

18 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tin. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for tin



English Language Learners Definition of tin

: a soft, shiny, bluish-white metal that has many different uses
: a container or plate made of metal
: a decorative metal box with a cover or lid


\ ˈtin How to pronounce tin (audio) \

Kids Definition of tin

1 : a soft bluish white metallic chemical element used chiefly in combination with other metals or as a coating to protect other metals
2 : something (as a can or sheet) made from tinplate a tin of cookies


\ ˈtin How to pronounce tin (audio) \

Medical Definition of tin

: a soft faintly bluish white lustrous low-melting crystalline metallic element that is malleable and ductile at ordinary temperatures and that is used as a protective coating, in tinfoil, and in soft solders and alloys symbol Sn — see Chemical Elements Table

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Legal Definition of TIN

taxpayer identification number

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