tip (v.1)

c. 1300, "to knock down, overturn, topple, knock askew" (transitive), of uncertain origin, possibly from Scandinavian (compare Swedish tippa "to tip, dump"), or from a special use of tip (n.). Intransitive sense of "to fall over, be overturned" is from mid-15c. Related: Tipped; tipping. To tip the scales at "weigh (so much" is from 1879. Tipping point attested by 1972. To tip (one's) hand "reveal one's intentions" is from 1907, an image from poker-playing.

tip (n.1)

c. 1400, "extreme end of something, top of something round or pointed, metal attachment to the end of something," from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch tip "utmost point, extremity, tip" (compare German zipfel, a diminutive formation); or from a Scandinavian source (compare Old Norse typpi).

tip (v.2)

"give a small present of money to," c. 1600, originally "to give, hand, pass," thieves' cant, perhaps from tip (v.3) "to tap." The meaning "give a gratuity to" is first attested 1706. The noun in this sense is from 1755; the noun meaning "piece of confidential information" is from 1845; and the verb in the sense "give private information to" is from 1883.

The popularity of the tale of the word's supposed origin as an acronym in mid-18th century English taverns seems to be no older than Frederick W. Hackwood's 1909 book "Inns, Ales and Drinking Customs of Old England," where it was said to stand for To insure promptitude (in the form to insure promptness the anecdote is told from 1946). A reviewer of the book in The Athenaeum of Oct. 2, 1909, wrote, "We deprecate the careless repetition of popular etymologies such as the notion that "tip" originated from an abbreviated inscription on a box placed on the sideboard in old coaching-inns, the full meaning of which was "To Insure Promptitude." Also see here.

tip (v.3)

c. 1200, "to strike, occur suddenly," of uncertain origin, possibly from Low German tippen "to poke, touch lightly," related to Middle Low German tip "end, point," and thus connected to tip (n.); or else related to tap (v.1). Meaning "strike sharply but lightly" is from 1560s. Sports sense is from 1816, originally in cricket. Related: Tipped; tipping.

tip (n.2)

"a light, sharp blow or tap," mid-15c., from tip (v.3).

tip (v.4)

"put a tip on, adorn with a tip," late 14c., from tip (n.) or Old Norse typpa. Related: Tipped; tipping.

updated on August 23, 2020

Definitions of tip from WordNet
tip (v.)
cause to tilt;
tip the screen upward
tip (v.)
mark with a tip;
tip the arrow with the small stone
tip (v.)
give a tip or gratuity to in return for a service, beyond the compensation agreed on;
Remember to tip the waiter
Synonyms: fee / bung
tip (v.)
cause to topple or tumble by pushing;
Synonyms: topple / tumble
tip (v.)
to incline or bend from a vertical position;
Synonyms: lean / tilt / slant / angle
tip (v.)
walk on one's toes;
Synonyms: tiptoe / tippytoe
tip (v.)
strike lightly;
Synonyms: tap
tip (v.)
give insider information or advise to;
He tipped off the police about the terrorist plot
Synonyms: tip off
tip (v.)
remove the tip from;
tip artichokes
tip (n.)
the extreme end of something; especially something pointed;
tip (n.)
a relatively small amount of money given for services rendered (as by a waiter);
Synonyms: gratuity / pourboire / baksheesh / bakshish / bakshis / backsheesh
tip (n.)
an indication of potential opportunity;
he got a tip on the stock market
Synonyms: lead / steer / confidential information / wind / hint
tip (n.)
a V shape;
Synonyms: point / peak
tip (n.)
the top or extreme point of something (usually a mountain or hill);
they clambered to the tip of Monadnock
Synonyms: peak / crown / crest / top / summit
From, not affiliated with etymonline.