Meaning of TIP in English

I. tip 1 S2 W3 /tɪp/ BrE AmE noun

[ 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 . END [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)

2 . MONEY [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

3 . ADVICE [countable] a helpful piece of advice:

Perhaps she could give us a few tips.

tip on/for

This week's magazine has some tips on healthy eating.

handy tip (=useful tip)

handy tips for decorating a small flat

gardening tips

4 . 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.

5 . 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!

6 . WASTE [countable] British English an area where unwanted waste is taken and left SYN dump :

a rubbish tip

I’ll take this lot to the tip.

7 . UNTIDY [singular] British English informal an extremely dirty or untidy place:

The house was an absolute tip.

8 . HORSE RACE [countable] informal special information about which horse will win a race

9 . WARNING [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.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)

■ verbs

▪ leave a tip

Aren’t you going to leave a tip?

▪ give somebody a tip

Kim gave the driver a tip.

■ adjectives

▪ a big/large/generous tip

The service was great and we left a large tip.

▪ a 5%/10% etc tip

A 15% tip is customary in restaurants.

▪ a £2/$5 tip

He gave the waitress a $10 tip.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 3)

■ verbs

▪ give somebody a tip

He gave me some tips on how to improve my game.

▪ pass on a tip

The writer passes on many tips that she has learned over the years.

▪ follow a tip

To keep your bike in good condition, follow these simple tips.

▪ pick up a tip

If you listen to the show, you’ll pick up some really useful gardening tips.


▪ a good/useful/helpful/handy tip

Go to their website to find useful tips on buying and selling a home.

▪ a simple tip

He has some simple tips for saving money when you're at the supermarket.

▪ cooking tips

Most recipes come with added cooking tips.

▪ gardening tips

Marie was always willing to share her gardening tips.

▪ beauty tips

The article contains some useful beauty tips.

▪ safety tips

Ensure the safety of your family with a few simple safety tips from the Fire Service.

II. tip 2 S3 BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle tipped , present participle tipping )

1 . LEAN [intransitive and transitive] to move into a sloping position, so that one end or side is higher than the other, or to make something do this SYN tilt

tip forward/back/to etc

His helmet had tipped forward and the boy pushed it back.

Eric fell asleep, his head gently tipping to one side.

tip something forward/back etc

‘So what?’ asked Brian, tipping his chair back on its rear legs.

2 . POUR [transitive always + adverb/preposition] to pour something from one place or container into another

tip something onto/into something

Tip the onions and oil into a large ovenproof dish.

Ben tipped the contents of the drawer onto the table.

tip something out

Shall I tip the water out?

3 . GIVE MONEY [intransitive and transitive] to give an additional amount of money to someone such as a ↑ waiter or taxi driver:

Did you tip the waiter?

tip somebody something

I tipped him $5.

4 . BE LIKELY TO SUCCEED [transitive usually passive] if someone or something is tipped to do something, people think that they are most likely to succeed in doing it

tip somebody/something to do something

the man tipped to become the next President

tip somebody for/as something

He’s tipped as a future world champion.

widely/strongly/hotly tipped

He had been widely tipped to get the new post of deputy director.

5 . gold-tipped/steel-tipped/rubber-tipped etc having a tip that is made of or covered with gold, steel etc:

a silver-tipped walking stick

6 . tip the balance/scales to give a slight advantage to someone or something:

Three factors helped to tip the balance in favour of the Labour leadership.

7 . tip the scales at something to weigh a particular amount, used especially of someone who will be taking part in a sports competition:

At today’s weigh-in he tipped the scales at just over 15 stone.

8 . it’s tipping (it) down British English spoken said when it is raining very heavily:

It was absolutely tipping it down.

9 . be tipped with something to have one end covered in something:

arrows tipped with poison

red petals tipped with white

10 . tip your hat/cap (to somebody)

a) to touch or raise your hat as a greeting to someone

b) American English to say or do something that shows you admire what someone has done

11 . tip somebody the wink British English informal to give someone secret information

tip somebody ↔ off phrasal verb

to give someone such as the police a secret warning or piece of information, especially about illegal activities:

The police must have been tipped off.

tip somebody off that

His contact had tipped him off that drugs were on the premises.

tip somebody ↔ off about

Did you tip him off about Bernard?

tip over phrasal verb

if you tip something over, or if it tips over, it falls or turns over:

The candle tipped over and the hay caught fire.

tip something ↔ over

The current was starting to tip the canoe over and I began to panic.

tip up phrasal verb

if you tip something up, or if it tips up, it moves into a sloping position, so that one end or side is higher than the other

tip something ↔ up

He tipped the bottle up so that the last of the liquid flowed into his glass.

Ken tipped up the wheelbarrow, then stood back to rest.

• • •


▪ pour to make a liquid or other substance flow out of or into a container by holding it at an angle:

Jessica was pouring more wine into her glass.


He poured me a drink.


Raj poured some water from the jug.

▪ drizzle to pour a liquid onto food in small drops or in a small stream – often used in cooking instructions:

Drizzle a little olive oil onto the bread.


Drizzle the lemon juice over the cake.

▪ tip to pour something out of a container by turning it upside down:

He tipped the cup of milk into the pan.


She weighed out the flour and tipped it into the bowl.

▪ spill to accidentally make a liquid or other substance come out of a container:

Someone had spilled coffee all over the carpet.


The tanker was leaking, and spilled oil into the sea.

▪ splash to pour a liquid quickly in an irregular stream:

Tony hurriedly splashed some cream in his coffee.


Someone had splashed petrol over the steps and set light to them.


She splashed some perfume onto her wrists.

▪ decant to pour liquid from one container into another container – a rather formal use:

Rachel decanted the shampoo into small bottles for travelling.


He often decanted cheap whisky into bottles of more expensive brands.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.