\ ˈtīn How to pronounce tine (audio) \

Definition of tine

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a slender pointed projecting part : prong
2 : a pointed branch of an antler


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

Definition of tine (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

dialectal British : lose

intransitive verb

dialectal British : to become lost

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Other Words from tine


tined \ ˈtīnd How to pronounce tined (audio) \ adjective

Examples of tine in a Sentence

Noun One of the fork's tines was bent.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The tip of the prong can leave a water spot and glasses wedged over two tines can crack. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "How to Use and Load a Dishwasher the Right Way," 13 Nov. 2019 Take the subsequent measurements at the smallest point between the tines. Scott Bestul, Field & Stream, "How to Score a Buck—the Right Way," 2 Dec. 2019 Miss Manners prefers them to spoons, because the curved tines can cut into solidly frozen blocks or lift out bite-sized bits of any accompanying matter, such as cake. Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Guests want to dictate menu," 9 Jan. 2020 Miraculously, none of the tines had been touched by porcupines or mice. Pj Delhomme, Outdoor Life, "The Top 40 Typical and Nontypical Mule Deer of All Time," 1 Jan. 2020 Rototill to a depth of 12 inches using a rear-tine tiller. Neil Sperry, ExpressNews.com, "In San Antonio, Christmas cactus really ‘Thanksgiving cactus’," 20 Dec. 2019 Use the tines of a fork to press a decorative pattern all around the edge of each ma’amoul. Jessica Battilana, SFChronicle.com, "Repertoire: 3 irresistible recipes for your holiday cookie plate," 6 Dec. 2019 Remember, place glasses between the tines — never on top. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "How to Use and Load a Dishwasher the Right Way," 13 Nov. 2019 Cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces and roll each over the tines of a fork to make little indentations. James P. Dewan, chicagotribune.com, "10 things to make with your prized Thanksgiving leftovers," 21 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tine.' 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 tine


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


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for tine


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

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Time Traveler for tine

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for tine

Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tine. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for tine


How to pronounce tine (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tine

: one of the thin, pointed parts on a fork

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More from Merriam-Webster on tine

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tine

Spanish Central: Translation of tine

Nglish: Translation of tine for Spanish Speakers

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