tin·​ny | \ˈti-nē \
tinnier; tinniest

Definition of tinny 

1 : thin in tone a tinny voice

2a : resembling tin

b : light, cheap

c : lacking depth or substance : empty tinny arguments

3 : of, abounding in, or yielding tin

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from tinny

tinnily \ˈti-​nə-​lē \ adverb
tinniness \ˈti-​nē-​nəs \ noun

Examples of tinny in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Month after month, my grandmother sent tiny ziplock bags packed with blue enamel Dior earrings and tinny silver J’adore anklets. Monica Kim, Vogue, "Is It Real—And Does It Matter? How Korea’s Counterfeit Culture Shaped My Style," 27 Aug. 2018 The tinny speakers embedded in your computer’s monitor just don’t cut it. Alexandria Haslam, PCWorld, "Punch up your PC audio! Logitech's powerful Z623 speaker system is $80, its lowest price ever," 9 Aug. 2018 The tinny music in the music box is the theme from Swan Lake -- a ballet where the heroine is imprisoned in the body of a swan, stripped of her identity. Rena Gross, Billboard, "10 Surprises From 'Handmaid's Tale' Season 2, Episode 8 'Women's Work'," 6 June 2018 This is an exhausting, one-note book, but the tinny, grating note Pein repeatedly strikes may nonetheless be one the world needs to hear more often. Nikil Saval, New York Times, "The Fate of Most Silicon Valley Drones: ‘Live Work Work Work Die’," 25 May 2018 About three-quarters of them are conducted via videoconference from the county jails, each probationer a forlorn figure in a blue prison uniform heard through a tinny speaker. Samantha Melamed, Philly.com, "Meek Mill's not alone. Study finds 'indefensible' overuse of probation, parole in Pennsylvania," 24 Apr. 2018 The air grows closer and my ears tune into tinny whistles of crickets, the calls of unfamiliar birds, and the distant howl of a monkey. Lucy Sherriff, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Safari in Colombia's Still-Wild Amazon Rainforest," 23 Apr. 2018 The song’s a slow burn, and languishes in its smoothness before picking up with tinny percussion to lead into the groovy chorus. Tamar Herman, Billboard, "VIXX Release Aromatically Inspired 'Scentist' Music Video: Watch," 18 Apr. 2018 And not just tinny, music from your smartphone that's barely loud enough to hear, but something that sounds good. Samantha Gordon, USA TODAY, "These are the 5 best Amazon deals for the first day of spring," 20 Mar. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of tinny

1552, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tinny

Dictionary Entries near tinny





tin opener

tin ore


Statistics for tinny

Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tinny

The first known use of tinny was in 1552

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tinny



English Language Learners Definition of tinny

: having a high and unpleasant sound

More from Merriam-Webster on tinny

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tinny

Nglish: Translation of tinny for Spanish Speakers

Comments on tinny

What made you want to look up tinny? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to enclose within walls

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!