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illustration Tiffin



Part of speech: noun

Origin: Indian, early 19th century


A light meal, especially lunch.

Examples of Tiffin in a sentence

"Would you like to join us for a tiffin before you leave?"

"My husband always packs up a tiffin for me to take to work when I have a long shift."

About Tiffin

As a noun, a tiffin is a small snack, or possibly the box used to carry your lunch. Then you could use it as a verb for eating that light midday meal. The roots are in English, but India has adopted the term, and it's primarily used there today.

Did you Know?

While many words were brought into English from other languages through colonization, "tiffin" is an example in reverse. "Tiff" was an old-fashioned English term for a little bite of something, and when Great Britain colonized India, the word "tiffin," meaning "a light lunch," was adopted into Anglo-Indian slang by the mid-19th century. The usage has now expanded slightly, also serving as the name of a stackable type of lunchbox.

illustration Tiffin

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