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 For example, Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. – a native of Venezuela – spells his last name with a tilde over the letter N. Since there’s no equivalent in the English alphabet, the easy thing is to use an N instead. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Fantasy baseball must join the call for diversity," 15 June 2020 Even after correctly matching the United States’ 31 Washington Counties to their correct states, there’s a very good chance that the two sources do not agree on whether Doña Ana County, N.M. really needs that tilde. Chris Wilson, Time, "Why So Many Political Campaigns Want to Send You a Free Bumper Sticker," 20 Sep. 2019 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for tilde

Time Traveler

The first known use of tilde was circa 1864

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Cite this Entry

“Tilde.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tilde. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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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\

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