Definition of tinhorn in US English:



North American
  • A contemptible person, especially one pretending to have money, influence, or ability.

    as modifier ‘tinhorn politicians’
    ‘he portrayed Wyatt Earp as a narcissistic tinhorn’
    • ‘Other letters offer versions of a common logical fallacy: because Hitler had small beginnings, any tinhorn fanatic is likely to become a Hitler… when in fact most will not (and it is problematic to identify which if any might).’
    • ‘He is no conservative, he's a crackpot - a tinhorn autocrat who has mistaken totalitarianism for conservatism.’
    • ‘But the larger, more frightening meaning of his statement is that in order to rid the world of a tinhorn dictator who posed no credible threat to the United States, it was just dandy to lie to the people.’
    • ‘Trapped on the other side of the country aboard Air Force One, the President has lost his cool: ‘If some tinhorn terrorist wants me, tell him to come and get me!’’
    • ‘After Urban Cowboy came out even here in Texas we endured several years of overdone, tinhorn headgear.’
    poor-quality, second-rate, third-rate, substandard, low-grade, inferior, common, vulgar, shoddy, trashy, rubbishy, tawdry, tinny, brassy, worthless, meretricious, cheap and nasty, cheapjack, gimcrack, brummagem, pinchbeck
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