Definition of tinny in English:



  • 1Having a displeasingly thin, metallic sound.

    ‘tinny music played in the background’
    • ‘I loved knowing that the music I was playing and the words I was speaking were in people's homes and cars, in the kitchen at restaurants or on tinny boomboxes in freshman dorm rooms.’
    • ‘The rooms were perfect in every detail, with hot and cold running taps in every bedroom, dimmer light-switches and wirelesses that actually seemed to be making a barely decipherable tinny broadcast.’
    • ‘The sum of £50,000 being quoted would have been better spent on giving the town hall a decent set of chimes to replace the present tinny sound of the bells.’
    • ‘Just one listen and you are teleported back to a day of reverb guitars, tinny bass and minimalist drums.’
    • ‘In comparison, the original mono track is distorted, indistinct, and terribly tinny, but for preservation's sake, it is nice to see it included here.’
    • ‘It is completely overmodulated, distorted, tinny, and terribly noisy.’
    • ‘It clanged to the ground making a tinny metallic sound.’
    • ‘Guns firing sound like they're coming from the back of a cave; music sounds tinny, as if you're listening to an AM radio station.’
    • ‘It would appear that only the speaker covers are large and that the actual speakers are tiny, since the sound quality is tinny and poor when playing back music.’
    • ‘Dialogue often sounded unnaturally tinny, as though people were speaking from within a metallic tube.’
    • ‘It features the rather tinny sound of a ball dropping into a hole.’
    • ‘Isn't she that annoying bimbo with the tinny voice who constantly hangs around him?’
    • ‘I say again: the sound is dreadful - terribly aged, degraded, compressed, tinny, and just overall awful sounding.’
    • ‘Armed with my positive memory, I pushed the play button on my own small, tinny stereo, in the hope that my mood would improve.’
    • ‘By contrast, the 2.0 track is nowhere as good, often sounding flat and tinny.’
    • ‘The sound was tinny and the picture was black and white.’
    • ‘The broadcasts always ended with a spookily-cheery valediction of ‘Good-bye, dear listeners’ and a tinny recording of the Internationale.’
    • ‘The dialogue is often difficult to hear and the music sounds tinny and flat.’
    • ‘The cheesy dialogue is poorly mixed, often sounding tinny and hushed.’
    • ‘There was a tinny crash as the prisoner threw his metal bowl of slop at the wall, followed by the complaints of the other prisoners.’
    jangling, jangly, jingling, jingly, plinky, thin, metallic
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    1. 1.1 Made of thin or poor-quality metal.
      ‘a tinny little car’
      • ‘Some metals have that cheap, tinny feel to them and this is not one of them.’
      • ‘There is an urgent need for us to focus on tagging, vandal damage, and tinny houses.’
      flimsy, thin, insubstantial, cheap, cheapjack, shoddy, poor-quality, inferior, low-grade, tawdry, rubbishy, trashy, gimcrack, jerry-built
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    2. 1.2 Having an unpleasantly metallic taste.
      ‘canned artichokes taste somewhat tinny’
      • ‘I could both smell and taste the tinny metallic taste of blood.’
      • ‘There was an unpleasant tinny taste in his mouth.’
      • ‘Its tinny taste failed to inspire drinkers to stay and by 1984 wasn't even one of the ten most popular sodas in the U.S. anymore.’
      • ‘Blueberries lose it completely, developing an actively unpleasant, tinny taste that even mountains of sugar can't mask.’
      • ‘Behind the dish's overwhelming dose of lime juice, the broth was tinny and under-salted and left an unpleasant, lingering taste that I associate with the pre-prepared garlic paste you buy in jars.’
  • 2NZ Australian informal Lucky.

    ‘I'm what you might call tinny’
    • ‘It's amazing how often a game of cricket can turn on one single stroke of tinny luck.’


NZ, Australian
  • 1A can of beer.

    ‘let's crack open a tinny, mate’
    • ‘Crack open a tinnie and chuck another bamboo shoot on the barbie, she'll be right!’
    • ‘From the camp-fire wafted smells of fried barramundi and fresh damper; while Ned, hot-foot from the Swing Arm Bar down at the Station Township and quite the little bar fly, was handing round tinnies from the eskie.’
    • ‘Open a few tinnies and settle in for some quality entertainment.’
    • ‘Dusted meself off, opened a cheap tinnie of lager, sat down and chilled out.’
    • ‘The Aussies were frantically unpacking their crates of beer, and in no time all of them had tinnies glued to their lips.’
  • 2A small boat with an aluminium hull.

    • ‘Even the ubiquitous tinnies are made of aluminium these days.’
    • ‘Depending on weather, sea state and our selected altitude, we can ‘see’ a weekend fisherman in his tinnie, a pod of leaping dolphins or a submarine's periscope, far beyond our binocular-assisted visual range.’
    • ‘‘They used binoculars to check and saw two men sitting on an upturned four metre tinny,’.’
    • ‘This leaves some flexibility for you to pick which wrecks you want to dive, and provides the chance to enjoy no more than one tinnie of divers on the wreck you decide to visit.’
    • ‘The ferries, warships, water taxis, huge container vessels, yachts and fishing tinnies ply with impunity one of the greatest anchorages and working harbours in the world.’
  • 3A portion of cannabis wrapped in tin foil.

    ‘they could buy a tinny for about $20’