Sense: 1,4-5
Date: 1400-1500
Origin: Probably from Old Norse typpi
Sense: 2-3, 8-9
Date: 1600-1700
Origin: Perhaps from tip 'light blow' (15-21 centuries), perhaps from Low German tippen 'to hit lightly'
Sense: 6-7
Date: 1800-1900
Origin: tip


1 noun
Related topics: Horses, Environment and waste
tip1 S2 W3


[countable] the end of something, especially something pointed
tip of
He kissed the tip of her nose.
the southern tip of South America
lights on the wing tips of aeroplanes
fingertip (1)


[countable] a small amount of additional money that you give to someone such as a waiter or a taxi driver:
Did you leave a tip?
large/generous/big tip
I gave the guy a big tip.
a $5 tip


[countable] a helpful piece of advice:
Jill knows Spain really well. Perhaps she could give us a few tips.
tip on/for
useful tips on healthy eating
last-minute tips for Christmas entertaining
handy tip (=useful tip) British English
handy tips for decorating a small flat
gardening tips

the tip of the iceberg

a small sign of a problem that is much larger:
The reported cases of food poisoning are only the tip of the iceberg.

on the tip of your tongue

a) if something is on the tip of your tongue, you really want to say it, but then you decide not to:
It was on the tip of my tongue to say, 'I'd rather have dinner with a snake.'
b) if a word, name etc is on the tip of your tongue, you know it but cannot remember it:
What is her name? It's on the tip of my tongue. Joan. Joan Simpson. That's it!


[countable] British EnglishSGE an area where unwanted waste is taken and left [= dump]:
I'll take this lot to the tip.


[singular] British English informal an extremely dirty or untidy place:
The house was an absolute tip.

horse race

[countable] informalDSH special information about which horse will win a race


[countable] a secret warning or piece of information, especially to police about illegal activities:
Acting on a tip, the police were able to find and arrest Upton.
WORD FOCUS: restaurant WORD FOCUS: restaurant
the person who serves you in a restaurant: waiter, waitress, server American English, waitperson American English

the person who cooks your food: chef

the person who welcomes the guests: maitre d', host/hostess American English

a list of the food: menu also bill of fare formal

a list of wines and alcoholic drinks: wine list also drink list American English

a piece of paper that shows the amount you have to pay for your meal: bill British English/check American English

extra money you leave for the waiter or waitress: tip/gratuity formal

money that the restaurant charges for service: service charge, cover charge, corkage

See also

Dictionary results for "tip"
Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.