noun, often attributive \ˈtī(-ə)l\

: a usually flat piece of hard clay, stone, or other material that is used for covering walls, floors, etc.

: a curved piece of hard clay that is used for covering roofs

: a small, flat piece that is used in some board games

Full Definition of TILE

plural tiles or tile
a :  a flat or curved piece of fired clay, stone, or concrete used especially for roofs, floors, or walls and often for ornamental work
b :  a hollow or a semicircular and open earthenware or concrete piece used in constructing a drain
c :  a hollow building unit made of fired clay or of shale or gypsum
:  tiling
:  hat; especially :  a high silk hat
:  a thin piece of resilient material (as cork, linoleum, or rubber) used especially for covering floors or walls
:  a thin piece resembling a ceramic tile that usually bears a mark or letter and is used as a playing piece in a board game (as mah-jongg)
on the tiles
:  engaged in late-night carousing

Examples of TILE

  1. We installed new tile in the kitchen.

Origin of TILE

Middle English, from Old English tigele, from Latin tegula tile; akin to Latin tegere to cover — more at thatch
First Known Use: before 12th century


transitive verb

: to cover (something) with tiles


Full Definition of TILE

:  to cover with tiles
:  to install drainage tile in
til·er noun

Examples of TILE

  1. We hired him to tile the bathroom floor.

First Known Use of TILE

13th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Thin, flat slab or block used structurally or decoratively in building. Tiles traditionally have been made of glazed or unglazed fired clay, but modern tiles are also made of plastic, glass, asphalt, and even cork. Ceramic tiles, used for walls, floors, and countertops, are usually machine-pressed, made of fine clays, and very hard. Quarry tiles (used for flooring) and terra-cotta, made of natural clays, are less hard and more porous but very popular for economic and aesthetic reasons. Structural tile, made of fired clay, is a hollow tile containing parallel cells or cores and is used for building partitions. Roof tiles of baked clay and of marble were used in ancient Greece. Tiles came to be widely used in Islamic architecture. Multicoloured, glazed tiles were common in Spain from an early period (see azulejo), and from there spread to Portugal and Latin America. By the 15th century, tilework was used widely in northern Europe; blue-painted tiles from Delft, Holland, were especially renowned. Modern clay roofing tiles may be flat or curved; in the Mediterranean countries, S-shaped tiles (pantiles), laid with alternate convex and concave surfaces uppermost, are common. Modern wall tiles may be highly glazed and semivitreous.


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