- The definition of a tinker is a person who can make minor repairs, an unskilled worker or a clumsy worker.
- A gypsy is an example of a tinker.
- A repairman is an example of a tinker.
- To tinker is defined as to play around with something, or to try to change or fix it.
When you play around with the controls on the dishwasher to try to make the dishwasher work better and you end up messing it up, this is an example of a situation where you tinker with the dishwasher.
- a usually itinerant person who mends pots, pans, etc.
- [sometimesT-]Chiefly Brit. Gypsy (noun): now mainly a derogatory term
- a person who can make all kinds of minor repairs; jack-of-all-trades
- a clumsy or unskillful worker; bungler
- a young mackerel
Origin of tinkerMiddle English tinkere from uncertain or unknown; perhaps or akin to tinken, to make a tinkling sound
- to work as a tinker
- to make clumsy or tentative attempts to mend or repair something
- to fuss or putter aimlessly or uselessly
- A traveling mender of metal household utensils.
- Chiefly British A member of any of various traditionally itinerant groups of people living especially in Scotland and Ireland; a traveler.
- One who enjoys experimenting with and repairing machine parts.
- A clumsy repairer or worker; a meddler.
verbtin·kered, tin·ker·ing, tin·kers
- To work as a tinker.
- To make unskilled or experimental efforts at repair; fiddle: tinkered with the engine, hoping to discover the trouble; tinkering with the economy by trying various fiscal policies.
- To mend as a tinker.
- To manipulate unskillfully or experimentally.
Origin of tinkerMiddle English tinkere
- an itinerant tinsmith and mender of household utensils made of tin
- (dated, chiefly UK and Ireland, offensive) A member of the travelling community. A gypsy.
- (usually with "little") A mischievous person, especially a playful, impish youngster.
- Someone who repairs, or attempts repair on anything mechanical (tinkers) or invents.
- The act of repair or invention.
- Any of various fish: the chub mackerel, the silverside, the skate, or a young mackerel about two years old.
- A bird, the razor-billed auk.
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster's Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(third-person singular simple present tinkers, present participle tinkering, simple past and past participle tinkered)
From Middle English tinkere