noun, often attributive
\ ˈtī(-ə)l How to pronounce tile (audio) \

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

Other Words from tile


tiler noun

Examples of tile in a Sentence

Noun We installed new tile in the kitchen. Verb We hired him to tile the bathroom floor.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the kitchen, Lohman had new flooring, granite countertops and a new tile backsplash installed. Lennie Omalza, The Courier-Journal, 4 Aug. 2022 In the kitchen is a wet bar, two beverage coolers, an icemaker, a microwave and a tile backsplash. Karen A. Avitabile, Hartford Courant, 16 July 2022 The kitchen has been completely reimagined with Calacatta Vagli marble counters, handmade Zellige tile backsplash, stylish appliances and a custom range hood over the double oven. cleveland, 15 July 2022 The homeowners kept the original tile backsplash and flooring in the kitchen of this Loire Valley home. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, 11 July 2022 Past the dining area, the kitchen features a mesmerizing tile backsplash, dual-function stove (six-burner gas range with electric oven), and an island with quartz waterfall countertop. Jon Gorey, BostonGlobe.com, 7 July 2022 The home’s scene-stealer is a tile backsplash in the kitchen, which is visible from every room in the house. Christine Lennon, Sunset Magazine, 22 Apr. 2022 To spruce up the rest of the room after completing the kennel, Jessi painted the walls, added a pink glass-tile backsplash, and built a pair of floating shelves. Samantha Benoit, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Apr. 2022 The bathroom now includes a millennial-pink sink basin with a pink-and-green matte zellige tile backsplash and a vintage Mexican rug from Ms. Nicholson’s grandmother. Alina Dizik, WSJ, 16 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Press that tile into place, replace the outlet cover and switch the power back on. Washington Post, 14 Mar. 2022 Regular pentagons leave little gaps, but mathematicians have ultimately found 15 types of irregular pentagons that can each tile the plane. Eugenia Cheng, WSJ, 10 Mar. 2022 Or tile the interior of an unused fireplace to create a focal point without the flames. Sunset Magazine, 15 Feb. 2022 Gi-hun gives the number 1 vest up to a player, Sae-byeok reminds Gi-hun which tile to step on. Quinci Legardye, Vulture, 8 Oct. 2021 Most moths and butterflies get their vibrant colors from flat scales that tile the wing surface like shingles; relatively few species have clear wings. Harini Barath, Scientific American, 15 Sep. 2021 The fact is, most three-dimensional shapes don’t tile space. Quanta Magazine, 9 Feb. 2021 Those cut-up rectangles, for example, can easily tile together to fill in a mosaic in two dimensions. Quanta Magazine, 19 Nov. 2020 Umansky also believes that area rugs can be an asset atop any flooring, from classic hardwood to tile and beyond. Sarah Baird, House Beautiful, 14 Sep. 2020 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for tile

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near tile



tile blue

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Statistics for tile

Last Updated

9 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tile. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for tile


\ ˈtīl How to pronounce tile (audio) \

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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