\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from tin


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

Synonyms for tin

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 The family room and eating area have holiday gnomes, wool animals and snowflakes, and soft snowy owls, felt deer and other woodland creatures pop up from a high shelf in the white kitchen with a vintage-looking tin ceiling. oregonlive, "Oregon families celebrate the holidays at home with well-loved traditions," 18 Dec. 2019 The cozy 45-seat restaurant has wooden walls and floors and a decorative tin ceiling, and is decorated with items that Zakhary has collected over the years — many from her native country. BostonGlobe.com, "Breakfast, brunch, and lunch get ‘yazzed up’ in Abington - The Boston Globe," 27 Nov. 2019 The housing can be precarious, made of tin, cardboard or wood. Pascale Bonnefoy, New York Times, "Christmas Eve Wildfire in Chile Destroys Dozens of Homes," 25 Dec. 2019 For cocktail parties and giftable tins, of course, roll and bake to your heart’s content. The New York Times News Service Syndicate, The Denver Post, "Desserts that bring the party, but not the fuss," 21 Dec. 2019 The atoms of tin are instantaneously heated to 1mºC, which smashes their outer electrons from their nuclei. The Economist, "A look inside the factory around which the modern world turns," 18 Dec. 2019 From every 100,000 iPhone devices, Daisy has the potential to recover: 1500 kg aluminum, 1.1 kg gold, 6.3 kg silver, 32 kg rare earth elements, 83 kg tungsten, 1,000 kg copper, 29 kg tin, 790 kg cobalt, 1,400 kg steel, according to Apple. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "How Apple's Sustainable iPhone Trade-In Program Works," 6 Nov. 2019 Some of these elements can also end up in people’s lungs, where poisonous ones like tin, cadmium, and mercury can do real harm to nervous, digestive, and immune systems. Akshat Rathi, Quartz, "The science of what makes coal so dirty," 23 Oct. 2019 The spacecraft released the rover, which resembles a circular cookie tin, from about 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) above the asteroid’s surface. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Japan spacecraft releases rover to asteroid in last mission," 3 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Kimmel’s from-scratch version features colorful fresh green beans that are baked in a homemade white sauce that tastes cleaner than the 1950s tinned three-can combo. oregonlive, "29 Thanksgiving side dish recipes, including 3 must-have green bean casseroles," 20 Nov. 2019 And by the 1880s, massive canneries at the Columbia’s mouth in Astoria, Oregon, were tinning a million salmon a year. Patrick Symmes, Harper's magazine, "The $68,000 Fish," 28 Oct. 2019 Porto, slated to open at the end of October, focuses on fresh seafood imported from Spain as well as conservas — tinned seafood — a staple of Galician, Portuguese and French cuisines for more than a century. Grace Wong, chicagotribune.com, "Spanish and Portuguese seafood restaurant and wine bar hits West Town, plus more Chicago restaurant news," 25 Oct. 2019 But there’s also tinned fish on a plate in the style of modern wine bars, chilled poached prawns with vadouvan aioli and roasted halibut in an elegant Meyer lemon beurre blanc. Michael Russell, oregonlive.com, "Lyon-inspired St. Jack has grown into -- and with -- its Northwest Portland home (2019 review)," 2 Aug. 2019 Plenty of trends from last year are still hot — ayurvedic and functional foods, tinned fish and moringa are still going strong. Maura Judkis, Washington Post, "10 food trends you’ll soon be seeing everywhere in 2019," 26 June 2019 In addition to a strong selection of natural wine, the bar serves charcuterie, cheese, tinned fish and bistro fare. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "San Francisco’s Verjus, the Quince spin-off wine bar, opens takeout lunch window," 4 June 2019 This is Fonseca and Almeida's favorite shop in town, selling home goods, soaps, children's toys, notebooks, and the famous Portuguese tinned fish, among many other delights. Cara Sanders, Vogue, "An Insider’s Guide to Lisbon from the Duo Behind the City’s Coolest Boutique Hotel," 8 Sep. 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tin

Time Traveler for tin

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for tin

Last Updated

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tin.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tin. Accessed 18 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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


How to pronounce TIN (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more


\ 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

Legal Definition of TIN

taxpayer identification number

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on tin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tin

Spanish Central: Translation of tin

Nglish: Translation of tin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tin for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tin

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).


experienced by way of someone else

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!