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Definition of tip-off noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

tip-off

noun
tip-off pronunciation American
 
1 (informal) a sign that gives you information that is not obvious or expectedHer silence was a tip-off that she didn't agree with us.2 (in basketball) a jump ball (= a ball thrown into the air that a player from each team jumps and tries to catch) that begins a gameThe news of his injury came just two hours before tip-off.3 (also tip)(informal) secret information that someone gives, for example to the police, to warn them about an illegal activity that is going to happenThe man was arrested after an anonymous tip-off.