Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

tip-off

noun
     
tip-off [countable]
1 informal a secret warning or piece of information, especially one given to the police about illegal activities:
The arrests came after a tip-off from a member of the public.
2 American English informal something that shows you that something is true, even though you did not expect it to be true:
The fact that he hasn't called should be a tip-off that he's not interested.
3 the beginning of a basketball game, when the ball is thrown into the air and two players jump up to try to gain control of it

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