tinker

verb
tin·​ker | \ ˈtiŋ-kər How to pronounce tinker (audio) \
tinkered; tinkering\ ˈtiŋ-​k(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce tinker (audio) \

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
plural tinkers

Definition of tinker (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a usually itinerant mender of household utensils
b : an unskillful mender : bungler
2 chiefly Irish, sometimes offensive : romani sense 1

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Other Words from tinker

Verb

tinkerer \ ˈtiŋ-​kər-​ər How to pronounce tinker (audio) \ noun

Examples of tinker in a Sentence

Verb He was tinkering in the garage.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Indianapolis will tinker with the offense to make sure Wentz has a chance to put his superpowers on display. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, 26 May 2021 Using new Census data, state legislatures and redistricting commissions will tinker with the borders before the midterms in pretty meaningful ways. Philip Elliott, Time, 11 May 2021 Because his biceps injury occurred while swinging the bat, Hinch won't tinker with his defensive usage. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 23 Apr. 2021 At least for the next year, there’s little that liberal activists can do to really tinker with the abacus in Washington; the seats here are decided until November of 2022. Philip Elliott, Time, 29 Mar. 2021 To get there, this barebones F1 version that developers can tinker with will be the first place to start. Chris Smith, BGR, 22 Mar. 2021 But the technique is more playful than trying to beat the game: one mod can fill Doom with characters from The Simpsons while another will tinker with the game engine to add a capture-the-flag match in Battlefield. David Silverberg, Popular Mechanics, 27 Sep. 2020 That map, presented in 1979, was celebrated, but over the years it has been repeatedly tinkered with, and has evolved into a visual mess. Raffi Khatchadourian, The New Yorker, 24 Feb. 2020 Through the years, Djokovic has switched to a gluten-free and dairy-free diet, practiced meditation and visualization and tinkered repeatedly — and not always successfully — with his service motion. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, 25 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Still, expect the Warriors to tinker with the roster and explore trade possibilities that don’t include Curry, Thompson and Green. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, 22 May 2021 Experiment on social media immediately, and tinker with your messaging and style guide to ensure your content is quality. Harrison Baum, Forbes, 21 May 2021 But the rise of digital media — specifically, social media sites with algorithms that scrape details and categorize users to a granular level — allows companies like General Mills to experiment, launch and tinker with its marketing in real-time. Kristen Leigh Painter, Star Tribune, 27 Apr. 2021 Here are the key details from Amazon’s bullet points on the product page: Certified for Humans – Struggle-free, tinker-free, stress-free. Maren Estrada, BGR, 23 Apr. 2021 The camps for pre-K through grade 8 encourage all campers to play, tinker and investigate the world around them with plenty of time to explore the science center. Gege Reed, The Courier-Journal, 9 Apr. 2021 Neville said the plan is to get everyone 45 minutes of playing time and tinker with formations as Inter Miami prepare for their season opener versus the LA Galaxy on April 18 at Inter Miami CF Stadium. Khobi Price, sun-sentinel.com, 16 Mar. 2021 Northam is also a car buff who loves to tinker with his antique Corvette and Oldsmobile. Washington Post, 14 May 2021 Even in states that prohibit gerrymandering, there are still ways to tinker. Philip Elliott, Time, 11 May 2021

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

1655, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for tinker

Noun

Middle English tinkere

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Time Traveler for tinker

Time Traveler

The first known use of tinker was in the 13th century

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Statistics for tinker

Last Updated

3 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tinker.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tinker. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for tinker

tinker

verb

English Language Learners Definition of tinker

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

tinker

noun

English Language Learners Definition of tinker (Entry 2 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
tin·​ker | \ ˈtiŋ-kər How to pronounce tinker (audio) \
tinkered; tinkering

Kids Definition of tinker

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

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