tin·​ny ˈti-nē How to pronounce tinny (audio)
tinnier; tinniest
: thin in tone
a tinny voice
: resembling tin
: lacking depth or substance : empty
tinny arguments
: of, abounding in, or yielding tin
tinnily adverb
tinniness noun

Examples of tinny in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The tinny roar of the crowd and thick cigar smoke siphoned down the brick corridor. Matthew Gavin Frank, Harper's Magazine, 12 Dec. 2022 That tinny little sound twinkling somewhere nearby. Souvankham Thammavongsa, The New Yorker, 3 July 2023 The sound quality of the tinny four-speaker stereo is pretty dreadful though. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 26 May 2023 The tinny Renault Alliance econobox and the derivative GTA hotbox, though built in America, did not rank as assets of note. Larry Griffin, Car and Driver, 11 Apr. 2023 The very frailness of the instrument—the way the Moog can sound, to modern ears, occasionally tinny or pitiful—has the effect of enhancing the poignancy of its performance of sacred music, as if making literal, in the contrast itself, our weakness in relation to God. Will Stephenson, Harper's Magazine, 15 Sep. 2020 The tinny circus music of the ice-cream truck. Karina Bland, The Arizona Republic, 5 Aug. 2020 It’s like damning your saxophone because your piano sounds a bit tinny. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 18 Jan. 2011 The first movies with sound were scratchy and tinny. K. Thor Jensen, PCMAG, 15 Dec. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tinny.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1552, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of tinny was in 1552

Dictionary Entries Near tinny

Cite this Entry

“Tinny.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tinny. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


tin·​ny ˈtin-ē How to pronounce tinny (audio)
tinnier; tinniest
: resembling or suggesting tin

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