1 of 2


: a slender pointed projecting part : prong
: a pointed branch of an antler
tined adjective


2 of 2


tined ˈtīnd How to pronounce tine (audio) or tint ˈtint How to pronounce tine (audio) ; tining ˈtī-niŋ How to pronounce tine (audio)

transitive verb

dialectal British : lose

intransitive verb

dialectal British : to become lost

Examples of tine in a Sentence

Noun One of the fork's tines was bent.
Recent Examples on the Web
The deer has a magnificent frame, long tines, lengthy beams, and world-beating brow tines. Josh Honeycutt, Outdoor Life, 27 Mar. 2024 Its 14-point bursts don't have crisp tines and introduce some false color. PCMAG, 31 Mar. 2024 The main beams are both 26 1/8 inches, and the rack sports impressive tine length, too. Josh Honeycutt, Outdoor Life, 27 Mar. 2024 It is suspected that the volatile organic compounds (benzene, formaldehyde, etc.) and heavy metals (nickel, tine, lead, etc.) associated with e-cigarettes can cause not only lung damage but damage to the heart and brain. Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, 8 Feb. 2024 Microwave on high for 8 minutes, then pierce it with the tines of a fork to check doneness. Nancy Baggett, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 The tines are often thinner and curved to make scooping up materials easier. Renee Freemon Mulvihill, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Nov. 2023 Since antlers form from the bases and grow up and out, the area around the pedicle and the main beam itself hardens first, followed by hardening of the tines, from the base to the tip. Scott Bestul, Field & Stream, 10 Jan. 2024 The thick polypropylene tines are supported with a wide crossbeam, while each tine features a vertical ridge meant to provide an extra dimension of support. Gabriel Morgan, Better Homes & Gardens, 27 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tine.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English tind, from Old English; akin to Old High German zint point, tine


Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse tȳna to lose, destroy, tjōn injury, loss — more at teen entry 2

First Known Use


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


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of tine was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near tine

Cite this Entry

“Tine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tine. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a slender pointed part : prong
the tines of a fork

More from Merriam-Webster on tine

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