Definition of tiffin in English:



dated Indian
  • A light meal, especially lunch.

    ‘The business of delivering dabbas - also known as tiffins, from an Anglo-Indian word for ‘lunch’ - began more than a century ago, reputedly at the request of a hungry English administrator.’
    • ‘And despite our objections, they brush the dust off our feet, fan us if we are looking hot and share their tiffin with us.’
    • ‘From an all-time tiffin to a filling meal, dosa has made a place in the heart of gourmets across the country.’
    • ‘I had a nice tiffin of mini idly, mini masala dosai, rava upma and a sweet.’
    • ‘And if the forecast looks promising, make the tiffin the night before and pop it in the freezer.’



/ˈtifin/ /ˈtɪfɪn/


Early 19th century apparently from dialect tiffing ‘sipping’, of unknown origin.