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1(especially 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, especially on a variety of appliances and apparatuses, usually for a living. British
, chiefly derogatory a Gypsy or other person living in an itinerant community.
2an act of attempting to repair something.
verb [no object]
attempt to repair or improve something in a casual or desultory way, often to no useful effect:he spent hours tinkering with the car [with object] archaic attempt to mend (something) by tinkering.