tin·​kle | \ ˈtiŋ-kəl How to pronounce tinkle (audio) \
tinkled; tinkling\ ˈtiŋ-​k(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce tinkle (audio) \

Definition of tinkle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to make or emit a tinkle or a sound suggestive of a tinkle
2 : urinate

transitive verb

1 : to sound or make known (the time) by a tinkle
2a : to cause to make a tinkle
b : to produce by tinkling tinkle a tune



Definition of tinkle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a series of short high ringing or clinking sounds
2 : a jingling effect in verse or prose

Synonyms for tinkle

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of tinkle in a Sentence

Verb The ice tinkled in the glass. A piano was tinkling in the background. He tinkled a small bell. Noun the soothing tinkle of the wind chime on the back porch
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For all 17 months of her life, Yarielis Paulino-Pepin has only known the warm nest of a hospital room, where gentle lullabies tinkle amid the hum, swish, and beeping of machines keeping her alive. Amanda Milkovits, BostonGlobe.com, 24 Dec. 2021 Dinners were often silent, interrupted only by tinkling ice in a whiskey glass. Robin Antalek, Longreads, 22 Apr. 2020 The Spirio | r, which debuted last month on Steinway’s 166th birthday, allows users of the piano brand to record themselves tinkling the keys, and then adjust the recording themselves via the Spirio app. Rob Ledonne, Billboard, 17 Apr. 2019 But this is a movie that's more efficient than emotionally affecting, a factor underlined by the heavy-handed use of Edward Shearmur's pensive score dominated by tinkling piano. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 Jan. 2020 On their shelves are the previous decade’s big moneymakers — tinkling meditation balls, replica swords, qipaos and noisemakers. Los Angeles Times, 23 Sep. 2019 The Sugarplum Fairy, here called Sugar Rum Cherry, dances to a slow, cheeky, boom-chicka-boom number, decidedly naughtier than Tchaikovsky’s tinkling melody for the celesta. New York Times, 16 Dec. 2019 Rhoda meets Mary Richards, played by the show’s namesake, when Mary moves into the turreted Victorian house where Rhoda has fashioned a home in the attic, fringe beads tinkling in the doorway. Emily Langer, Washington Post, 30 Aug. 2019 Ethereal notes of a glass harmonica, its sound resembling that of clinking glasses, tinkled as incense wafted through the air. National Geographic, 5 Mar. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But not everyone is tickled by the tower taking a tinkle. Sarah Rumpf, Fox News, 20 May 2022 Square tiles tinkle like bells when tapped by feet. Sarah Matusek, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 Aug. 2021 Roses wreath bespoke trellises, and the gentle tinkle from black slate fountains fills the space, an almost meditative hum. The Editors, Robb Report, 23 June 2021 What is the difference between face shaving with a tinkle razor and dermaplaning? Jacqueline Kilikita, refinery29.com, 28 May 2021 The dog swam back to shore and shook itself, and the tinkle of its collar bounced across the surface of the water and toward Chip. Lauren Groff, The New Yorker, 27 Apr. 2021 Why the Alcatraz foghorn when a bicycle tinkle-bell would do? Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, 21 Mar. 2021 While the familiar tinkle of the Red Kettle bells can still be heard throughout the next few weeks, there are also fewer bells throughout the nation because of the pandemic. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, 3 Dec. 2020 In the center of the courtyard, the tinkle of glasses can be heard over the asthmatic gurgle of the fountain. New York Times, 11 Nov. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tinkle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of tinkle


15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1668, in the meaning defined at sense

History and Etymology for tinkle


Middle English, frequentative of tinken to tinkle, of imitative origin

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Time Traveler for tinkle

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The first known use of tinkle was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Tinkle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tinkle. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for tinkle


tin·​kle | \ ˈtiŋ-kəl How to pronounce tinkle (audio) \
tinkled; tinkling

Kids Definition of tinkle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make or cause to make short high ringing or clinking sounds



Kids Definition of tinkle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a short high ringing or clinking sound

More from Merriam-Webster on tinkle

Nglish: Translation of tinkle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tinkle for Arabic Speakers


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