noun, often attributive
\ˈtī(-ə)l \

Definition of tile 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 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

2 : tiling

3 : a thin piece of resilient material (such as cork, linoleum, or rubber) used especially for covering floors or walls

4 : 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 (such as mah-jongg)

5 : hat especially : a high silk hat

on the tiles

: engaged in late-night carousing


tiled; tiling

Definition of tile (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cover with tiles

2 : to install drainage tile in

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Other Words from tile


tiler noun

Examples of tile in a Sentence


We installed new tile in the kitchen.


We hired him to tile the bathroom floor.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Earlier this year, Tesla began producing the tiles at its Buffalo factory, though customer installations have been slow. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Tesla to cut nearly 20 percent of its SolarCity installation locations," 22 June 2018 Professor Ernesto Solari worked with handwriting expert Ivana Bonfantino to analyze the majolica tile. James Rogers, Fox News, "Leonardo da Vinci's earliest work discovered?," 22 June 2018 The interior is equally sleek and minimalist, allowing details like the decorative black and white floor tiles on the front glassed in dining space to shine. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville Italian restaurant is full of potential but has work to do," 20 June 2018 The material, such as the blue aluminum tiles on the south building, will reflect the changing light throughout the day. Dana Oland, idahostatesman, "This new building on BSU's campus will change Boise's iconic cityscape," 4 June 2018 The tiles dance along as food runners come in and out and cooks pass dishes from stovetop to the expediting table. Elyse Inamine, Bon Appetit, "The Well-Crafted Kitchen: Inside the Whimsical, Dreamy World of Frenchette," 31 May 2018 With the guests in order, the mystery of the dress solved, and the screaming crowds of wedding-watchers quieted down (a little), Meghan began the long walk to the altar, over the iconic black-and-white tiles of St. George's Chapel. Aj Willingham, CNN, "Every romantic, emotional moment from one heck of a royal wedding," 19 May 2018 On another visit, the pesce marinato had disappeared from the raw-bar menu, giving way to a tuna crudo with smoked egg, caperberries and olives, finely minced atop the jewel-like tiles of tuna. Kate Washington, sacbee, "If Allora can learn to relax a little, it will be one of the city's best restaurants | The Sacramento Bee," 11 May 2018 We either didn't notice or didn't know to ask about the mangled ceiling tiles directly above Hargrove's desk. Bud Shaw, cleveland.com, "A career writing about Cleveland sports: The blessings far outweighed The Curse -- Bud Shaw," 4 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The newly tiled, sleek white bathroom has a shower-over-tub. Julie Lasky, New York Times, "$600,000 Homes in Florida, Connecticut and California," 24 Jan. 2018 Heading east, Pakenham spies a parked van from a tiling company and clicks on his iPhone — the first step in collecting evidence. Elizabeth Royte, Daily Intelligencer, "George Pakenham is waging a one-man war on air pollution on the Upper West Side.," 10 July 2018 One of the property’s three bathrooms, tiled in marble. Ruth Bloomfield, WSJ, "How to Live Luxe—and With Light—in a Basement Home," 13 June 2018 German firm Bureau Oberhaeuser has a new concept for Tesla's interface that takes a cue from the world of smart devices and tablets, allowing multiple apps to be tiled at once and moved around at will. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Imagine If Your Tesla's Console Worked Like This," 18 Mar. 2015 On the ceiling the space between the beams is tiled with ceramic vine motifs. Houston Chronicle, "City pool opens for summer; extensive renovations complete," 26 May 2018 For one, the station got a $125 million renovation completed in 2011 that included new artwork, entrances and staircases, elevators, tiling and lighting. Anne Kadet, WSJ, "This New York City Subway Station Gets Rave Reviews," 1 May 2018 On the ceiling the space between the beams is tiled with ceramic vine motifs. Houston Chronicle, "City pool opens for summer; extensive renovations complete," 26 May 2018 Hardwood floors make up the living areas, while carpeting is found in the bedrooms, and tiling in the bathrooms. Lauren Ro, Curbed, "Midcentury modern charmer wants $799K," 9 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tile.' 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 tile


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tile


Middle English, from Old English tigele, from Latin tegula tile; akin to Latin tegere to cover — more at thatch

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Dictionary Entries near tile





tile blue


tile cell

Statistics for tile

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tile

The first known use of tile was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for tile



English Language Learners Definition of tile

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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



English Language Learners Definition of tile (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cover (something) with tiles


\ˈtīl \

Kids Definition of tile

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a thin piece of material (as plastic, stone, or clay) used for roofs, walls, floors, or drains

2 : a small flat piece used in a game


tiled; tiling

Kids Definition of tile (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cover with tiles

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More from Merriam-Webster on tile

Spanish Central: Translation of tile

Nglish: Translation of tile for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tile for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tile

Comments on tile

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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