Definition of tiffin in English:



mass noun
  • 1Indian dated A snack or light meal.

    ‘tiffin has been ready for some time’
    count noun ‘I made sure they have not forgotten their tiffins’
    as modifier ‘a tiffin carrier’
    • ‘She brought them their tiffin in small aluminium boxes.’
    • ‘Carry tiffin with you, eat at a place with a table, if you really must.’
    • ‘For a rice eater like me, cafeteria tiffin in the morning comes nowhere close to filling.’
    • ‘Little stalls on wheels serve up tiffin: banana chips, vegetable bhajis, and little rice batter puffs with a stew of channa poured into them.’
    • ‘Different varieties of local fare is available in the various restaurants in city, and most of them offer the tiffin items.’
    • ‘In the afternoon over tiffin, Janda would compose scandalous gossip columns.’
    • ‘Tell the cook to make tiffin for three.’
    • ‘I set the soldiers and the cook to clean them after breakfast or tiffin or the midday meal.’
    • ‘The sort of dishes served for tiffin vary but curries were very popular, and salads were often served in hot weather.’
    • ‘During tiffin we went outside to try cool down somewhat.’
  • 2British A cake or dessert made with crushed biscuits, golden syrup, and chocolate, and chilled in a fridge.

    ‘the tiffin was a decadent chocolatey treat’
    • ‘We went to some place for tea and cakes near Newby Bridge whose name I just can't remember, but if you find it, have the tiffin.’
    • ‘Make the tiffin the night before and pop it in the freezer.’
    • ‘They were able to choose from an amazing array of home-made cakes, including rum and raisin tiffin.’
    • ‘The farm holds its own market, where you can sip homemade lemonade and grab a slice of chocolate brandy tiffin in peace.’
    • ‘This week Scottish oat nibbles, chocolate tiffin, and toffee pecan slices are on offer for 99p a pack.’
    • ‘We finished with a slice of home-made carrot, orange and walnut cake, and orange and chocolate tiffin, both of which were excellent.’
    • ‘A bottle of wine and some extremely naughty chocolate tiffin greeted us in the apartment.’
    • ‘This white chocolate tiffin recipe is mouth-wateringly delicious and so simple to make!’
    • ‘She whipped up flapjacks, moon rocks, and tiffin cakes in the kitchen with her children.’
    • ‘His apricot and pistachio tiffin with homemade marshmallow was technically impressive and clearly passed the taste test.’


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