General English

General Science

  • noun a metallic element, used especially to form alloys
  • noun a metal container for food or drink, made of iron with a lining of tin or of aluminium


  • noun a valuable metal, formerly traded on commodity markets at an artificially high international price managed by the International Tin council to protect tin producers from swings in the price


  • A lustrous, white, malleable metal with a low melting point, highly resistant to corrosion; used to make alloys and solder, and to coat sheet metal. When it is added to brass alloys, it provides greater strength and hardness, and also provides corrosion resistance from salt water.
  • To coat with a thin layer of tin or other protective metal.
  • trade slang for aluminum siding.


  • A metallic element whose atomic number is SO. It has two known allotropic forms, the more common is soft, malleable, and silvery-white, the other is brittle gray. Tin can be hammered into an extremely thin foil, and when bent emits a characteristic cry. Tin and some of its alloys have been known since ancient times. It has close to 40 known isotopes, of which 10 are stable. Its applications include its use in plating, corrosion-resistant coatings, solders, wires, and in many alloys with uses in electronics and metallurgy. Its chemical symbol, Sn, is taken from the Latin word for tin: stannum.
  • chemical symbolSn


  • Any metal container used for baking, e.g. cake tin, loaf tin, bun tin, etc. or for storing or preserving food
  • The relatively inert metal used to coat the inside of copper cooking utensils to prevent corrosion in acid solutions


  • noun a metal container in which food or drink is hermetically sealed for storage over long periods


  • noun a metal used as part of the alloy in metal type and in hot metal setting, which makes the lead tougher and also more fluid when heated


  • noun money; cash, coins. A fairly rare expression.


  • acronym forTaxpayer Identification Number
    (written as TIN)

Information & Library Science

  • abbreviation in Internet addresses, the top-level domain for Senegal

Origin & History of “tin”

Tin is a general Germanic word, with relatives in German zinn, Dutch and Danish tin, and Swedish tenn. these point to a common ancestor *tinam, but where this came from is not known. The word was first used for a ‘tin can’ in the early 19th century. Tinker may be related.