tinkle

verb
tin·​kle | \ˈtiŋ-kəl \
tinkled; tinkling\ ˈtiŋ-​k(ə-​)liŋ \

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

tinkle

noun

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

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Synonyms for tinkle

Synonyms: Verb

chink, clink, jingle, tingle

Synonyms: Noun

chime(s), jingle, tintinnabulation

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The only sound breaking through the hot afternoon air comes from a snorting pair of cows in the neighbor’s yard, and tinkling wind chimes hang over the porch. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, "In Catemaco, Mexico's 'Land of the Sorcerers'," 29 Mar. 2018 Curlers rarely merit those up-close-and-personal Olympic bios accompanied by tinkling piano. Author: Karen Heller, Anchorage Daily News, "Think you could be an Olympic curler? Don’t make these women laugh.," 31 Jan. 2018 The sound of a piano softly tinkles in the background, gradually building (strings are optional now) into a fermata. Cmo Today Staff, WSJ, "CMO Today’s Cranky Holiday Wish List," 22 Dec. 2017 Keeningly mournful strings are deployed to underline the melancholic mood, plus sad, tinkling piano in the wake of particularly grim or tragic developments. Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Deminer': Film Review | IDFA 2017," 27 Nov. 2017 This late Camp cut lightly swirls tinkling xylophone with soft strings to juxtapose the complications of adult love and the pure simplicity of childhood crushes. Zach Dionne, Billboard, "Childish Gambino's 15 Best Songs: Critic's Picks," 11 Sep. 2017 The tragic Motley Crue song about a man who kills his lover is beautifully heartbreaking, from its tinkling piano melody to the glimmering guitar. Christa Titus, Billboard, "Motley Crue's 15 Best Songs: Critic's Picks," 31 July 2017 Bursts of tinkling metal madness somehow mesh with the overall darkness of the slow second movement. Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, "Review: NY Phil Biennial’s Ambitious Wrap-Up, From Boulez to Bolcom," 12 June 2016 Then on through the enfilade of the bishop’s handsome state rooms, and into his private sitting rooms where a pianist tinkled the ivories, and onto the broad tiled terrace that had never before been opened to the public. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Vogue’s Hamish Bowles on His Molto Alta Weekend in Palermo With Dolce & Gabbana," 11 July 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The notes were few, as a large orchestra thinned to the tinkle of harp, mandolin and celesta littering soft, ethereal drones in the select strings and winds. Mark Swed, latimes.com, "Mahler's 'Song of the Earth' and sky and sea, the L.A. Phil way," 6 Apr. 2018 The music drones and burbles, tinkles and undulates, taking its time and lingering over instrumental stretches. New York Times, "15 Pop, Rock and Jazz Concerts to Check Out in NYC This Weekend," 5 Apr. 2018 The tags tinkle in the wind and give the dog a permanent sparkle. Mary Forgione, latimes.com, "Yeah, there's a giant bunny in that vineyard — no foolin' — and 9 animals, vegetables and antlers you'll want to stop and see," 1 Apr. 2018 The music drones and burbles, tinkles and undulates, taking its time and lingering over instrumental stretches as if people are still willing to experience a whole album from start to finish. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "Music Is a Sanctuary From Chaos on Yo La Tengo’s ‘There’s a Riot Going On’," 14 Mar. 2018 From the tinkle, the researchers fished out 181 bacteria spanning the diversity of microbes in the bladder and sequenced their genomes. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Never-before-seen viruses that can kill bacteria stream from women’s bladders," 1 Feb. 2018 The backing track is a bass line going nowhere slowly, oozing to bind together twitches of electronic percussion and little tinkles and twangs that drift in and out. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "Pop Music in 2017: Glum and Glummer," 22 Dec. 2017 Only minutes by water from downtown Manhattan, Governors Island has an otherworldly air, a car-free oasis where the only sounds on the trails are lapping waves and the tinkle of bicycle bells. Gina Levay, Smithsonian, "How New York City Is Rediscovering Its Maritime Spirit," 29 May 2017 In every corner of the establishment — the florist shop, the main store and the outdoor nursery — the sound of trickling water mingled with the tinkle of wind chimes. Janis Mara, The Mercury News, "Japanese-American East Bay nursery closing ends saga started in 1905," 24 May 2017

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.

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First Known Use of tinkle

Verb

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

Noun

1725, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for tinkle

Verb

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

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Statistics for tinkle

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Time Traveler for tinkle

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

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More Definitions for tinkle

tinkle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of tinkle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make sounds like the sounds of a small bell

: to pass urine from the body

tinkle

noun

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

: the sound produced by a small bell or a similar sound

: a telephone call

: the act of passing urine from the body

tinkle

verb
tin·​kle | \ˈtiŋ-kəl \
tinkled; tinkling

Kids Definition of tinkle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

tinkle

noun

Kids Definition of tinkle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a short high ringing or clinking sound

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Comments on tinkle

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