See also: Tinkle



From Middle English tinclen, equivalent to tink +‎ -le (frequentative suffix).


  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈtɪŋkəl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪŋkəl


tinkle (third-person singular simple present tinkles, present participle tinkling, simple past and past participle tinkled)

  1. (intransitive) To make light metallic sounds, rather like a very small bell.
    The glasses tinkled together as they were placed on the table.
    • (Can we date this quote by Dodsley and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      The sprightly horse / Moves to the music of his tinkling bells.
  2. (intransitive, informal, juvenile) To urinate.
  3. (transitive) To cause to tinkle.
  4. (transitive) To indicate, signal, etc. by tinkling.
    The butler tinkled dinner.
  5. To hear, or resound with, a small, sharp sound.
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      And his ears tinkled, and the colour fled.


Derived termsEdit



tinkle (plural tinkles)

  1. A light metallic sound, resembling the tinkling of bells or wind chimes.
    • 1994, Stephen Fry, chapter 2, in The Hippopotamus:
      At the very moment he cried out, David realised that what he had run into was only the Christmas tree. . . . There were no sounds of any movement upstairs: no shouts, no sleepy grumbles, only a gentle tinkle from the decorations as the tree had recovered from the collision.
  2. (Britain, informal) A telephone call.
    Give me a tinkle when you arrive.
  3. (informal, euphemistic) An act of urination.