\ˈtin \

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 \ noun

Synonyms for tin

Synonyms: Noun

barrel, can, canister (also cannister), drum

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Examples of tin in a Sentence


row upon row of tins containing food for an emergency that never happened

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Yes, things like that, or conflict minerals disclosure [which required companies to tell investors whether their products contained tantalum, tin, gold, or tungsten mined from the Democratic Republic of Congo]. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The first woman president of the NYSE would really rather not talk about her gender," 14 June 2018 A century ago, in caverns now littered with coffee tins, wine bottles and other refuse, Connecticut soldiers carved and burned their names into the chalk walls. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, "If These Walls Could Talk: 7 Stories Of Connecticut Soldiers Who Left Their Names In French Caves," 25 May 2018 Strongbow bought South Crofty, which holds about 30,000 metric tons of tin, in 2016. Thomas Biesheuvel, Bloomberg.com, "Iconic Cornwall Tin Mine Is Planning a London IPO," 14 May 2018 Other atoms, such as tin, nestle snugly and produce a stable wavelength. Neil Savage, Scientific American, "What Are the Limits of Manipulating Nature?," 8 May 2018 That is a godsend in a country where the minimum monthly wage is less than $2 at that rate - and would be swallowed up by two boxes of eggs or a small tin of powdered milk. Scott Smith, Houston Chronicle, "ConocoPhillips seeks control of Venezula oil assets to settle $2b award," 7 May 2018 And came up with the name Hot Sardines the day of the gig, when Bougerol found a tin of sardines in hot sauce at a Brooklyn co-op food market. Joe Klopus, kansascity, "Jazz Town: Versatile Hot Sardines pack their shows with pure joy | The Kansas City Star," 4 Mar. 2018 That means the popcorn will be available at Wrigley throughout the season — with the option of a special Cubs-themed tin, of course. Adam Lukach, RedEye Chicago, "Garrett Popcorn lands at Wrigley Field with new Cubs partnership," 22 Feb. 2018 The fragrant shop resembles an apothecary of seasonings, stacked with glass jars filled with his proprietary, exotically named blends like Orchidea (Sichuan pepper, lime, orchid root), as well as tins of his famous spiced, French-style biscuits. Stacy Perman, Fortune, "Meet the Spice King of New York," 17 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Sophisticates use their left hand to hold a fork, tines down, and hold their knife in their right, cutting one bite at a time. Carolyne Zinko, SFChronicle.com, "Techies change the world, but can they choose the right knife and fork?," 3 July 2018 Meanwhile, Sidell is contemplating expansion plans for Back Bay tinned-fish parlor Saltie Girl — no firm locations yet — and working on renovations at the group’s Back Bay and Natick Met locations. Kara Baskin, BostonGlobe.com, "Tables: Some big closings in Southie, and welcoming The Wellington," 7 June 2018 Since supplies could run low during a crisis, the leaflet provides checklists of what to stock up on, including mineral water, wet wipes and tinned hummus. Laignee Barron, Time, "Sweden Advises Its Citizens to Prepare Wet Wipes and Tinned Hummus in the Event of War," 22 May 2018 They were invited to England, tined and dined and they their hotels and airlines paid for. Fox News, "Did an administration infiltrate the opposition's campaign?," 26 May 2018 Holy upset! Saltie Girl’s tinned sardines beat Island Creek Oyster Bar’s oysters in the Boston Globe Munch Madness tournament’s Sweet 16 round. Devra First, BostonGlobe.com, "A Munch Madness upset! Saltie Girl topples Island Creek Oyster Bar," 26 Mar. 2018 The condom tins indeed look like makeup, and now with Urban Outfitter's partnership, hopefully carrying condoms and lube in your purse will become as common as toting around chapstick. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "Urban Outfitters Now Sells Condoms and Lube From Brand Lovability," 10 Mar. 2018 Luckily, this is one restaurant trend that's easy to take home, provided you get the right tinned fish. Karen Palmer, Bon Appetit, "The Best Ways to Serve Tinned Fish," 23 Oct. 2017 However, royals eat the Continental way, holding their forks in the left hand, tines down, and the knife in the right. Maria Mercedes Lara, PEOPLE.com, "6 Royal Etiquette Lessons Meghan Markle Must Master If She Becomes a Princess," 19 Oct. 2017

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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Statistics for tin

Last Updated

3 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tin

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

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More Definitions for tin

Financial Definition of TIN

What It Is

Also called an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), a taxpayer identification number (TIN) is a nine-digit number that the IRS uses to identify individuals who do not have and are not required to obtain a Social Security number.

How It Works

TINs always begin with the number 9. Similar to Social Security numbers, TINs take the XXX-XX-XXXX pattern. The fourth and fifth digits always fall in the 70-88, 90-92, and 94-99 ranges. People can apply for a TIN using IRS Form W-7 ("Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number").

TINs are for tax purposes only; they do not replace Social Security numbers, authorize a person to work in the United States, or create eligibility for Social Security or other benefits. The IRS issues TINs regardless of immigration status because people both inside and outside the United States may have tax obligations to the United States under the Internal Revenue Code.

Why It Matters

TINs are not the same as Employer Identification Numbers (EINs). It’s also important to note that TINs are for federal tax purposes; states may have additional identification requirements for taxpayers who do not have Social Security numbers.

Source: Investing Answers



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 \

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

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\ˈtin \

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

Legal Definition of TIN 

taxpayer identification number

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Comments on tin

What made you want to look up tin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express warning or disapproval

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