Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: GAS, COAL, OIL

Sense: 1
Date: 1600-1700
Origin: klincard type of brick (1600-1700), from Dutch klinkaard
Sense: 2-3
Date: 1900-2000
Origin: CLINK1

clinker

noun
     
clink‧er
1 [uncountable and countable]TPG the hard material like rocks, which is left after coal has been burnt
2 [countable] American EnglishAPM a bad note in a musical performance:
The singer hit a real clinker.
3 [countable] American English informal something or someone that is a total failure:
Most of the songs are good, but there are a few clinkers.
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