from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A thin, flat or convex slab of hard material such as baked clay or plastic, laid in rows to cover walls, floors, and roofs.
  • n. A short length of pipe made of clay or concrete, used in sewers and drains.
  • n. A hollow fired clay or concrete block used for building walls.
  • n. Tiles considered as a group.
  • n. Games A marked playing piece, as in mahjong.
  • transitive v. To cover or provide with tiles.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A regularly-shaped slab of clay or other material, affixed to cover or decorate a surface, as in a roof-tile, glazed tile, stove tile, etc.
  • n. A rectangular graphic.
  • n. Any of various types of cuboid playing piece used in certain games, such as in dominoes, Scrabble, mahjong, or Rummikub.
  • v. To cover with tiles.
  • v. To arrange in a regular pattern, with adjoining edges (applied to tile-like objects, graphics, windows in a computer interface).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A plate, or thin piece, of baked clay, used for covering the roofs of buildings, for floors, for drains, and often for ornamental mantel works.
  • n.
  • n. A small slab of marble or other material used for flooring.
  • n. A plate of metal used for roofing.
  • n. A small, flat piece of dried earth or earthenware, used to cover vessels in which metals are fused.
  • n. A draintile.
  • n. A stiff hat.
  • transitive v. To protect from the intrusion of the uninitiated.
  • transitive v. To cover with tiles.
  • transitive v. Fig.: To cover, as if with tiles.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To provide with tile-drains, as land.
  • To cover or roof with tiles.
  • In freemasonry, to guard against the entrance of the uninitiated by placing the tiler at the closed door: as, to tile a lodge; to tile a meeting.
  • To bind to keep what is said or done in strict secrecy.
  • n. A thin slab or plate of baked clay, used for covering the roofs of buildings, paving floors, lining furnaces and ovens, constructing drains, etc., and variously compounded and shaped according to the use in view.
  • n. A similar slab or plate of pottery, glazed and often decorated, used for ornamental pavements, revetments to walls, etc.; also, a like slab of porcelain, glazed and plain or decorated; an encaustic tile; also, a slab of stone or marble used with others like it in a pavement or revetment.
  • n. In metallurgy, a small flat piece of dried earth or earthenware used to cover vessels in which metals are fused.
  • n. A section of pipe of earthenware, glazed or unglazed.
  • n. Tiles of any kind collectively; tiling; construction of tiles.
  • n. A tall stiff hat; a silk hat: humorously compared to a section of pipe (hence also called stovepipe).
  • n. Same as til-tree.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. game equipment consisting of a flat thin piece marked with characters and used in board games like Mah-Jong, Scrabble, etc.
  • v. cover with tiles
  • n. a flat thin rectangular slab (as of fired clay or rubber or linoleum) used to cover surfaces
  • n. a thin flat slab of fired clay used for roofing


Middle English, from Old English tigele, from Latin tēgula, from tegere, to cover; see (s)teg- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English tiġele (Wiktionary)



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