til·​de | \ ˈtil-də How to pronounce tilde (audio) \

Definition of tilde

1 : a mark ˜ placed especially over the letter n (as in Spanish señor sir) to denote the sound \nʸ\ or over vowels (as in Portuguese irmã sister) to indicate nasality
2a : the mark used to indicate negation in logic and the geometric relation "is similar to" in mathematics
b : the mark used to indicate an approximate value

Examples of tilde in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

One general principle is that communication leans toward the efficient, so any extra markings (sarcastic tildes, for instance, or a period where a line break will do) telegraph that there’s more to the message than its literal import. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "Is the Internet Making Writing Better?," 26 July 2019 The logo for Calibra and its digital wallet will feature a single tilde. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, "'It's Just Lazy': Current's CEO Lashes Out at Facebook's Calibra for Its Similar Logo," 20 June 2019 Since Proposition 83, a measure approved by voters in 1983 to make English the state’s official language, diacritical marks — such as accents (è or á), umlauts (ö or ü) and tildes (ñ or ã) — on vital records were deemed unacceptable. latimes.com, "Vice President Pence pledges support from federal government for California wildfires," 9 Oct. 2017 Since then, legislative analysts say, the Department of Public Health has interpreted the rule to mean that diacritical marks, such accents (è or á), umlauts (ö or ü) and tildes (ñ or ã), on vital records are unacceptable. Sarah D. Wire, latimes.com, "Painting depicting police as pigs comes down from Capitol wall," 17 Jan. 2017 Stripped of its tilde, peña, which means rock, becomes pena, which is Spanish for pity or pain. Jonathan Blitzer, New York Times, "Swiping a Screen Rather Than Flip a Page in Baseball AUG. 6, 2016," 6 Aug. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tilde.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of tilde

circa 1864, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tilde

Spanish, from Medieval Latin titulus tittle

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tilde

Dictionary Entries near tilde








Statistics for tilde

Last Updated

2 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tilde

The first known use of tilde was circa 1864

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tilde



English Language Learners Definition of tilde

: a mark ~ used in some languages (such as Spanish and Portuguese) to show that the letter n is pronounced /nj/ or that a vowel is pronounced in a different way


til·​de | \ ˈtil-də How to pronounce tilde (audio) \

Kids Definition of tilde

: a mark ˜ placed especially over the letter n (as in Spanish señor) to indicate a sound that is approximately \nyə\

More from Merriam-Webster on tilde

Spanish Central: Translation of tilde

Comments on tilde

What made you want to look up tilde? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make a temporary encampment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!