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1. A traveling mender of metal household utensils.
2. Chiefly British A member of any of various traditionally itinerant groups of people living especially in Scotland and Ireland; a traveler.
3. One who enjoys experimenting with and repairing machine parts.
4. A clumsy repairer or worker; a meddler.
v. tin·kered, tin·ker·ing, tin·kers
1. To work as a tinker.
2. To make unskilled or experimental efforts at repair; fiddle: tinkered with the engine, hoping to discover the trouble; tinkering with the economy by trying various fiscal policies.
1. To mend as a tinker.
2. To manipulate unskillfully or experimentally.

[Middle English tinkere.]

tin′ker·er n.


the act of making some small changes to something, in an attempt to improve it or repair it
References in periodicals archive ?
Summary: New Delhi [India], August 22 (ANI): NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant is slated to launch the Mentor India Campaign, a strategic nation building initiative to engage leaders who can guide and mentor students at more than 900 Atal Tinkering Labs, established across the country as a part of the Atal Innovation Mission, here on Wednesday.
At every stage in development, different human tinkering skills are valued -- from rocks and vines and sinews to code in a million years or so.
NITI Aayog held today detailed interaction with Principal Secretaries / Secretaries of School Education Departments from all States and UTs through video conferencing to disseminate information and ensure successful implementation of Atal Tinkering Laboratories.
At its core, tinkering is getting things right, before we make needless costly and perhaps disastrous mistakes.
While there are many factors that play a role in creating curious learners, we will focus here upon three key aspects: tinkering, modeling, and acceptance of failure.
Disney obviously had no ambition of tinkering with formula here.
But Tinker Bell (Mae Whitman) is bitterly disappointed that her special talent of tinkering isn't up there with the talents of some of her friends.
These cutting-edge papers, drawn from the Novartis Foundation symposium held July 2006 in London, places tinkering within its historical contexts and describes the relationship between development and evolution through heritable variation.
A little tinkering here and a little tinkering there won't help much.