tin·ker / ˈtingkər/ • n. 1. (esp. in former times) a person who travels from place to place mending metal utensils as a way of making a living. ∎ a person who makes minor mechanical repairs, esp. on a variety of appliances and apparatuses, usually for a living. ∎ Brit., chiefly derog. a gypsy or other person living in an itinerant community. 2. an act of attempting to repair something. • v. [intr.] attempt to repair or improve something in a casual or desultory way, often to no useful effect: he spent hours tinkering with the car. ∎ [tr.] archaic attempt to mend (something) in such a way. PHRASES: not give a tinker's damn inf. not care at all.DERIVATIVES: tin·ker·er n.