tinker

verb
tin·​ker | \ˈtiŋ-kər \
tinkered; tinkering\ ˈtiŋ-​k(ə-​)riŋ \

Definition of tinker 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to work in the manner of a tinker especially : to repair, adjust, or work with something in an unskilled or experimental manner : fiddle always tinkering with his car

transitive verb

: to repair, adjust, or experiment with

tinker

noun

Definition of tinker (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a usually itinerant mender of household utensils

b : an unskillful mender : bungler

2 chiefly Irish : gypsy

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Other Words from tinker

Verb

tinkerer \ ˈtiŋ-​kər-​ər \ noun

Examples of tinker in a Sentence

Verb

He was tinkering in the garage.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Expect manager Didier Deschamps to continue tinkering with the starting XI. Si.com Staff, SI.com, "Weekend Read: A Case for All 16 Teams to Win the World Cup, Reflecting on Tyler Hilinski and More," 29 June 2018 Dempsey’s group has been a huge proponent of smarter tolling, the idea of tinkering with toll prices to ease congestion at rush hour. Shirley Leung, BostonGlobe.com, "With millionaires tax off the ballot, how else do we pay for transportation and education?," 19 June 2018 That was the same year Lewis started tinkering with metal. Leslie Hittmeier, Outside Online, "Ruby and Revolver Makes Mountain-Inspired Jewelry," 11 June 2018 Risker continued to develop her craft on her own, spending her free hours tinkering with home recordings and hitting open mikes several nights a week at places such as the Gallery Cabaret and Quenchers. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "Jessica Risker sharpens her sweet songs on a hazy new album," 18 Apr. 2018 For Season 5 of the Producer Series, the popular cognac brand tinkered their formula and added a new ingredient into the mix. Carl Lamarre, Billboard, "Big Sean on Joining Rèmy Martin's Producer Series, Kanye Making Beats Again & Why Pharrell Is 'On the Rushmore of Music'," 5 July 2018 This past Christmas season, he could be found, as usual, tinkering with his massive displays on the lawn. Joshua Sharpe, ajc, "Neighbors mourn after the DeKalb ‘Christmas Lights Guy’ dies suddenly," 20 June 2018 Lawyers can then tinker with it further to recognise more obscure clauses, or even those in different languages. The Economist, "Law firms climb aboard the AI wagon," 12 July 2018 Still just 27 and always tinkering, Bauer has harnessed his significant talent in a big way this year. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Five players who should be easy calls as first-time MLB All-Stars," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Dennis Schminke, a Republican Party activist who worked at Hormel Foods for 38 years, tinkers in his garage in Austin, Minn. Dan Balz, Washington Post, "Loyalty, unease in Trump’s Midwest," 10 May 2018 Many channels have suffered steep declines in ad sales as YouTube — an arm of Alphabet Inc.’s Google — tinkers with which videos are eligible for publicity. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "YouTube offers its stars the option to sell subscriptions," 22 June 2018 Many channels have suffered steep declines in ad sales as Google’s YouTube tinkers with which videos are eligible for publicity. Lucas Shaw, Bloomberg.com, "YouTube Is Offering a Talent Option to Sell Subscriptions," 22 June 2018 The pair tinker and exhibit above an old rubber-and-metals workshop in Mullae-dong, a run-down industrial neighbourhood of Seoul. The Economist, "Prophets and profitsIn South Korea fortune-telling will soon be a $3.7bn business," 24 Feb. 2018 The Dodgers also made a few tinkers to their coaching staff, and could lose bullpen coach Josh Bard to the Yankees. Andy Mccullough, latimes.com, "With Shohei Ohtani and Giancarlo Stanton off the market, where will Dodgers turn?," 11 Dec. 2017 There, in a stone house about a quarter-mile from the Lebanese border, Mr. Komarovsky, 55, tinkers with his latest culinary creations: a whole-eggplant dish roasted in his pizza oven, or a free-form babka with quince plucked from his garden. Joan Nathan, New York Times, "An Israeli Chef Looks to the Landscape," 8 Sep. 2017 Tax cuts have emerged as an issue ahead of Germany’s national election next month, with both major parties promising various timid tinkers to the personal income-tax rate and exemptions. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "Europe’s Taxes Aren’t as Progressive as Its Leaders Like to Think," 3 Aug. 2017 Segar tinkers with Photoshop to produce special effects, like enhancing the colors of a sunset or softening the overall image. Janice Steinhagen, Courant Community, "Portrait Photographer Babies Her Tiny Subjects," 12 July 2017

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

Verb

1592, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for tinker

Noun

Middle English tinkere

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Statistics for tinker

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tinker

The first known use of tinker was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for tinker

tinker

noun

English Language Learners Definition of tinker

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who in the past traveled to different places and made money by selling or repairing small items (such as pots and pans)

tinker

verb

English Language Learners Definition of tinker (Entry 2 of 2)

: to try to repair or improve something (such as a machine) by making small changes or adjustments to it

tinker

verb
tin·​ker | \ˈtiŋ-kər \
tinkered; tinkering

Kids Definition of tinker

: to repair or adjust something in an unskilled or experimental manner

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