Definition of tin in English:



  • 1A silvery-white metal, the chemical element of atomic number 50.

    • ‘A century ago, before stainless steel was widely available, winery equipment was often made of iron, copper, or bronze, an alloy of copper and tin.’
    • ‘In every case except tin, known reserves have actually grown since the report; in some cases they have quadrupled.’
    • ‘Alloyed with tin, copper makes bronze, and combined with zinc, it makes brass.’
    • ‘Some of it they gamble on the price of tin, or the dollar going down, or whether there'll be floods in Asia.’
    • ‘Plywood ranked fourth after black pepper, tin, and rubber.’
    • ‘Different materials are used - brass, tin, galvanised iron and pewter.’
    • ‘Bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, has been used to make sculptural objects as early as the seventh millennium BC.’
    • ‘The most important use of tin in the United States is the manufacture of solder, an alloy made of tin and lead.’
    • ‘Singapore became an important trading centre, and Malaya exported rubber and tin.’
    • ‘These early metal users had not yet learned to alloy copper with tin to make bronze.’
    • ‘Bronze is made with tin added to copper and brass has zinc in the alloy.’
    • ‘Well, lead and tin together as an alloy figure in the solders that are used to solder on the printed circuit boards.’
    • ‘It's pewter - an alloy of tin and lead with traces of copper, iron, and nickel.’
    • ‘It had blamed the illegal miners for causing a drop in the international price of tin.’
    • ‘Tin combined with copper made bronze; and tin combined with lead made pewter.’
    • ‘By the late 16th century Acheh had reduced the power of Johore and controlled much of Sumatra and Malaya, deriving its wealth from pepper and tin.’
    • ‘In colonial Burma, valuable resources of oil, tin, and rubber were more fully exploited and commercial rice cultivation was developed.’
    • ‘Knowledge of the new alloy spread slowly, mainly because of the scarcity of tin, so the Bronze Age tends to have widely different dates in different parts of the world.’
    • ‘First came copper, used in an unalloyed form, and then the superior alloy of copper and tin known as bronze.’
    • ‘Commercially pure tin is used for soldering side seams of cans for special food products and aerosol sprays.’
    1. 1.1
      short for tinplate
      • ‘I like the leg room, and I demand a car made of steel, not tin.’
      • ‘Using lighter material such as plywood, acrylic sheet, tin, stainless steel and cloth has also made transportation easier.’
      • ‘Instead most graves are marked with a steel stake and a piece of rusting tin bearing a number.’
      • ‘The hundreds of homes here are made of pressed cardboard and rusting tin.’
    2. 1.2British dated, informal Money.
      • ‘I didn't really have the proper tin to do it in, so made it in a long flat baking dish and it came out more like a Quorn sausage sponge cake, which is not necessarily a good thing.’
      money, wealth, finance, finances, funds, cash, hard cash, lucre, filthy lucre, wherewithal, means, assets, liquid assets, capital, resources, reserves, deep pockets
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  • 2A lidded airtight container made of tinplate or aluminum.

    ‘Albert got out the cookie tin’
    • ‘If you are interested in making an Aromatic Christmas Decoration you are requested to please bring along a real orange, some cloves, and a biscuit tin.’
    • ‘Photo collections in biscuit tins and shoe boxes mediated the void left by this absence of myth and history.’
    • ‘You never see them scurrying to school, as we did, with baskets and biscuit tins containing ingredients.’
    • ‘Has one of those tins ever actually contained a Danish Butter Cookie?’
    • ‘Protesters are invited to bring kazoos, whistles, pots, pans and biscuit tins and to meet at 11.30 am at Speakers Corner.’
    • ‘Much of the material was wrapped in old newspaper, or was contained in tobacco tins, biscuit tins, pill boxes and the like.’
    • ‘When slightly cool to handle, shape into ladoos and store in an airtight tin when completely cool.’
    • ‘Look for containers at garage sales and discount places during the year such as jars, baskets, tins and canisters.’
    • ‘The good housewife always had homemade cake or biscuits in the tins.’
    • ‘If I should feel hungry between meals I eat a piece of fruit rather than raiding the cake tin or the biscuit barrel.’
    • ‘The tins from the butter cookies you got for Christmas, the wire clothes hangers from the drycleaners, pads of paper from your realtor - no one is going to buy it.’
    • ‘Their smiling faces appeared everywhere; in newspapers and magazines, in flickering newsreels, on the lids of chocolate boxes and biscuit tins.’
    • ‘Materials ranged from oil paint, house paint and wire to dental floss, toothpicks and cookie tins.’
    • ‘And, as you'd expect, all things Elvis clutter the shelves, from figurines to drinking glasses to wallets to tins to plates to clocks to jukeboxes to lamps to cookie jars.’
    • ‘Mince Pies can be stored in an airtight tin for up to a week or put them in the freezer for 5-6 weeks.’
    • ‘‘You can't have my coin,’ said Tony, as Mrs Hawthorne added the pound note to the biscuit tin.’
    • ‘There were bags of flour on the floor, lumps of doughs on chairs, bottles of fruit and nuts in boxes, and towers of biscuit tins and cookie-making things in doorways.’
    • ‘The base of his motor was a tea chest, a biscuit tin housed the projection lamp, scanning discs were cut from cardboard, and he also utilised four-penny cycle lenses.’
    • ‘One of my strongest early memories is the old corner store with its wooden floor, wooden bench and tins full of packets of biscuits.’
    • ‘I forgo interaction with eight biscuit tins surmounted by illuminated photographs.’
    container, receptacle, repository, holder, carrier
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    1. 2.1British
      ‘she had opened a tin of beans’
      another term for tin can
      • ‘Not only did the first division leaders pick him up on a free, but rather than superstar wages he's happy with a bowl of milk and a tin of cat food.’
      • ‘I left for the studios on time, though, which was good, and took a tin of toffee with me that we could eat during the show but I subsequently forgot to take out of my bag so it's come home with me.’
      • ‘I have just had a look in our cupboard, and if someone can sell me some whipping cream and a tin of mandarin oranges I could knock up a reasonably good trifle.’
      • ‘I can empty a tin of cat food into a bowl, give a dog a bone, but never, ever, have I let any sort of animal eat out of my hand.’
      • ‘Is it best just to accept that you're a record company asset and opt to play dead as you're reprogrammed, repackaged and resold with all the dignity of a tin of beans?’
      • ‘I usually dug deep, handing over some coins or a tin of beans.’
      • ‘We had loads of unmarked tins, and we never knew whether we were going to open a tin of beans or a tin of pears!’
      • ‘Rumours abound that the chef responded by adding a tin of Campbell's tomato soup and pinch of spices to the meat and so Britain's most popular dish was born.’
      • ‘And besides, they have been providing entertainment in exchange for a tin of dog food per day.’
      • ‘I bought a tin of chopped tomatoes the other day, and the picture on the tin showed a bowl simply filled up with chopped tomatoes.’
      • ‘Armed with a tin of paste and a brush, he turned out at 3am every morning in all weathers with a bag of contents bills with the headlines of the day.’
      • ‘I just ate a tin of mandarin segments and now it's raining.’
      • ‘I had a tin of tomatoes on toast last night for my dinner.’
      • ‘It could be toast or a tin of beans, and we drink tea.’
      • ‘A logo on a tin of cat food might seem to have little to do with these wider issues but really they are all connected.’
      • ‘Customers were invited to put a tin of food in it for the poor.’
      • ‘I sat in bed to keep warm, and ate the only food I had - a tin of condensed milk.’
      • ‘Not only was the room in a filthy state, the food cupboard contained just a tin of mushy peas, baked beans and corned beef.’
      • ‘The property was next to an unfenced lake and there was no food except for a tin of pasta that was out of date.’
    2. 2.2British An open metal container for baking food.
      ‘grease a loaf tin’
      • ‘If old, these should be cut up and baked in a tin with chickens.’
      • ‘Place in two well-greased 18 cm tins and bake for 30 mins in moderate oven.’
      • ‘Spoon into two base-lined 23 cm sponge tins and bake at 180C / 350F / Gas 4 for 30 minutes.’
      • ‘Pour the batter mix into the loaf tin and bake for approx 30-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.’
      • ‘Also, it is shaped like a loaf and may indeed be baked in a loaf tin or something similar.’
      • ‘If the frying seems like a lot of bother, grease a tin, press all the mixture in, and bake in a moderate oven until brown on top.’
      • ‘Grease the tin and line with baking parchment, then arrange the quince quarters over the base.’
      • ‘Spoon into lightly greased muffin tins and bake at 200 degrees C for about 12-15 minutes.’
      • ‘Pour into the prepared tins and bake for about 30-35 minutes, until the surface of the cake springs back when lightly pressed.’
      • ‘Line the bottom of the baking tin with baking parchment.’
      • ‘Yorkshire puddings are made with a batter similar to pancake or clafouti mix, then baked in a tin until they rise.’
      • ‘Place the birds in a roasting tin, open out their legs and trickle over the melted butter through a sieve.’
      • ‘Line the base of the tin with baking paper over the base, then attach the ring piece.’
      • ‘Place into a greased loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes.’
      • ‘Open storage above the ovens and below the cooktop let her grab a pie tin or skillet without opening a cabinet door first.’
      • ‘Pour the finished batter into the cake tin and bake for approximately 1 hour or until the cake becomes firm and springy to the touch, when lightly pressed in the middle.’
      • ‘Pour into the prepared tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25-30 minutes until just firm to the touch.’
      • ‘Pour into the baking tin and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until crusty on top and still a bit squidgy inside.’
      • ‘Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.’
      • ‘Grease a loaf tin with plenty of butter and press the mixture in.’


  • Cover with a thin layer of tin.

    ‘the copper pans are tinned inside’
    • ‘Another way to obtain a compatible coating is by tinning the stainless steel with a high-silicon aluminum alloy.’
    • ‘These alloys can be tinned although some compositions are more suitable than others.’
    • ‘I tinned some small speaker wires, but found that soldering and splicing wires is questionable depending on the size of the wire.’
    • ‘She began the third game by tinning another of the backhand drop shots that her heretofore served her so well, and just like that Kitchen seized that small opening and wedged it much wider by racing off with five quick points.’
    • ‘Now, turn on your soldering iron, and tin all of your stripped wires.’
    conserve, bottle, can, pot, chill, freeze, freeze-dry, quick-freeze, dry, desiccate, dehydrate
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  • have a tin ear

    • informal Be tone-deaf.

      • ‘But our president simply has a tin ear for how to speak to people.’
      • ‘But when it comes to portraying certain American cultural expressions, the BBC seems to have a tin ear.’
      • ‘For an antidote to the sugary Broadway show, I always wondered if at least one of the kids had a tin ear and the rhythm of a stutterer.’
      • ‘Cool, unless you have a tin ear or prefer pottery.’
      • ‘In so many places, the lectionary seems to have a tin ear, without regard for the artistic, musical, dramatic quality of biblical texts.’
      • ‘I like this one because it challenges scholars who are influential but apparently have a tin ear for what the New Testament writers were trying to communicate to their first readers, namely, a new kind of participation in divine power.’
      • ‘He has a tin ear for politics - no, metallurgists of the future will toil for years to discover exactly what unusual material his ears are made from.’
      • ‘I have to say, the administration, since Election Day, has had a tin ear on a couple of things, I think.’
      • ‘Add to this that I have a tin ear for US politics, and my qualifications for commenting on last week's election, and giving my liberal friends tips on how to warm their eggs and suckle their young are complete.’
      • ‘The company has had a tin ear for hearing what customers want in recent years.’


Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch tin and German Zinn.