v. tin·kled, tin·kling, tin·kles
1. To make light metallic sounds, as those of a small bell.
2. Informal To urinate.
1. To cause to tinkle.
2. To signal or call by tinkling.
1. A light, clear metallic sound or a sound suggestive of it.
2. An act or instance of tinkling.
[Middle English tinklen, frequentative of tinken, to emit a brief metallic sound, perhaps of imitative origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.