Definition of tyke in English:

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Pronunciation: /tʌɪk/
(also tike)


1 informal A small child, especially a cheeky or mischievous one: is the little tyke up to his tricks again?
More example sentences
  • Hey, not all kids are irrepressible, mischievous, restless tykes!
  • Whilst trying to make the melodies inaccessible, these cheeky tykes from Ozzy's old home city have only gone and made them all the more appealing.
  • Adults dig the clever scripts and inside jokes, while little tykes think the girls are adorable and thrill to their fast-paced adventures.
1.1 [usually as modifier] Canadian An initiation level of sports competition for young children: tyke hockey
More example sentences
  • It traces Little League to its roots in 1939 and offers lots of photos and displays of uniforms and caps worn by tyke players over the years.
  • These tiny lads were barely past tyke stage and were costumed in huge, puffy, fuzzy, brightly colored bee suits with little matching caps and antennae.
2 dated, chiefly British An unpleasant or coarse man.
Example sentences
  • This spunky St-Michel tyke has been working the local wrestling circuit for the past five years and has been fanatical about pro-wrestling since childhood.
  • But as the years went on and he started receiving close to 1,000 spam e-mails a day, this determined tyke decided to take action.
3A dog, especially a mongrel.
Example sentences
  • It hasn't helped either asking dog owners to carry a plastic bag to pick up any poo their tyke drops.
4 (also Yorkshire tyke) British informal A person from Yorkshire: Geordies and tykes have never got on particularly well
More example sentences
  • Sweet making giant Cadbury has been accused of tampering with the taste buds of Yorkshire tykes.
  • The secret's out, as the 4,000 sweaty Mancs who witness the Yorkshire tykes triumph will tell you.
  • if you want to meet and network with your fellow Yorkshire tykes then join the Yorkshire academy here
5Australian /NZ informal, derogatory A Roman Catholic.
Early 20th century: alteration of Taig


Late Middle English (sense 2, sense 3): from Old Norse tík 'bitch'.

  • The word tyke (from Old Norse tík ‘bitch’) was first a term for a dog, especially a mongrel. It quickly became a rough man and then a Yorkshire tyke, ‘a person from Yorkshire’, before being used as an affectionate term for a cheeky child. In Australia and New Zealand tyke is an offensive term for a Roman Catholic. This is an alteration of Taig, a Northern Ireland Protestant's insulting name for a Catholic, from the Irish name Tadhg, which has been used since the 17th century as a nickname for an Irishman.

Words that rhyme with tyke

alike, bike, haik, hike, like, mic, mike, mislike, pike, psych, psyche, shrike, spike, strike, trike, Van Dyck, vandyke

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: tyke

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