\ 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


One of the fork's tines was bent.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The tines of rakes bristled against the concrete, soon sprayed with bleach and water. Los Angeles Times, "After 9 years on L.A.’s streets, Big Mama needed a home. But it wasn’t that easy," 15 Aug. 2019 In his grip is an unconventional trap: a modest-size elk antler, which has five tines and a metal chip embedded in a base that’s sealed with epoxy. Mike Koshmrl, National Geographic, "What it takes to catch antler thieves," 19 July 2019 But those tiny spork tines won’t hold it together much longer. Scott Tobias, The Verge, "Toy Story 4 lowers the stakes and ramps up the whimsy," 21 June 2019 An old-fashioned handheld tine fork or claw will work too, but without the precision. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Your Alaska summer weeding strategy is right here," 13 June 2019 Mix the egg into the cheese with the tines of a fork, tear off the little bread-handles at either end, and dip them into the gorgeously golden slurry. Bethany Jean Clement, The Seattle Times, "Feels like family: Seattle’s Dacha Diner might be your new favorite place," 29 Mar. 2019 The tines start turning dirt, wheeling through the earth like ninja throwing stars. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Year of the Tractor," 7 May 2016 The mbira consists of a set of steel tines suspended over a sound box. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Musical instrument goes flat in presence of adulterated medicine," 17 Sep. 2018 Split four of the English muffins by deeply pricking them along the horizontal seam with the tines of a dinner fork. Gabrielle Hamilton, House Beautiful, "The Only Cheeseburger Recipe You'll Ever Need," 7 June 2012

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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Statistics for tine

Last Updated

4 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for tine

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

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More Definitions for tine



English Language Learners Definition of tine

: one of the thin, pointed parts on a fork

More from Merriam-Webster on tine

Spanish Central: Translation of tine

Nglish: Translation of tine for Spanish Speakers

Comments on tine

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


recurring in steady succession

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