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

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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 The restaurant, darker than Tail Up Goat, opens with a handsome bar and continues with a dining room made sleek with green tile floors, skinny chandeliers and displays of wine. Washington Post, "Reveler’s Hour is the relaxed wine-and-pasta sibling we needed from the Tail Up Goat team," 10 Jan. 2020 An elegant yet inviting courtyard features stacked stone and slate tile flooring leading to the entry. Mary Wakeford, azcentral, "From foreclosure to fabulous. Take a look at this Peoria home," 9 Jan. 2020 Folks will be able to bid Mary Blair’s ceramic-tile work that served as a prototype for that very tall mosaic in Disney’s Contemporary Hotel. Dewayne Bevil, orlandosentinel.com, "Disney auction: Tiki Room animatronics, theme-park signs, rare documents ready for bids," 15 Nov. 2019 The first boy shuffled across the tile floor with his arms crossed and eyes downcast. NBC News, "Syracuse anti-violence advocate, Clifford Ryans, turns tragedy into action," 29 Oct. 2019 Blood began to pool on the white tile floor surrounding the young woman. AZCentral.com, "Police shootings in Arizona," 22 Oct. 2019 Off the kitchen, there’s a half bath with a porcelain pedestal sink and ceramic tile flooring. John Ellement, Boston.com Real Estate, "Home of the Week: For under $450,000, a former parsonage in Wrentham," 25 Sep. 2019 The majority of materials used were sourced from within a 500-mile radius, including all wood doors and Mexican tile that runs throughout the home. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "Central Tempe home near ASU with indoor garden and rooftop pool is LEED Platinum certified. Take a look," 26 Dec. 2019 Some hospitals have had to bring in special cleaning equipment and even rip out floor and ceiling tiles to get rid of it. Knvul Sheikh, New York Times, "What We Learned in 2019: Health and Medicine," 26 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The new slices everyone loved were tiled with a grotesque number of little cupped pepperonis. Mark Binelli, The New Yorker, "Arrivederci, Little Italy," 8 Dec. 2019 In other words, use 1/16-inch spacers when tiling instead of 1/8-inch—that way your grout line will be thinner in the finished space. Kelly Dawson, House Beautiful, "How to Choose the Perfect Grout Color for Your Tile," 30 Sep. 2019 Puru Jena, a collaborator at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, says models of molecular dynamics predict that the carbon atoms form corrugated layers tiled with six- or 12-atom rings and linked together by covalent bonds. W. Wayt Gibbs, Science | AAAS, "The next graphene? Shiny and magnetic, a new form of pure carbon dazzles with potential," 12 Nov. 2019 Using a type of chip tiled with thousands of protein fragments from viruses, his group found enterovirus antibodies in 11 of 14 A.F.M. patients, compared to only three of 16 patients with other neurological diseases. Pam Belluck, New York Times, "What Causes a Mysterious Paralysis in Children? Researchers Find Viral Clues," 21 Oct. 2019 The floors have been re-tiled and new paint has been added throughout the space. Justin Phillips, SFChronicle.com, "Aziza is back. Mourad Lahlou plans to reopen his ground-breaking Moroccan restaurant," 2 Oct. 2019 Some of my testing was done on a Sony Xperia 1, which is tall enough to make tab tiling workable with a horizontal split. Scott Gilbertson, Ars Technica, "Most mobile browsers display the Web, that’s it—Vivaldi Mobile can change that," 1 Oct. 2019 Designed by Shaun Jackson and Paul Prager from Bluepoint Hospitality Group, Bonheur’s playful interior is a twist on traditional French influences with its intricate floor tiling around the counter, mid-century furniture choices, and bold colors. Kate Mcgregor, ELLE Decor, "Is Bonheur the Chicest Ice Cream Shop in America?," 18 July 2019 Contemporary touches come in with granite counters, white subway tiling and gleaming stainless steel appliances. Roxanne Washington, cleveland.com, "Cool Spaces: Cozy ‘castle’ is among eight stops on Heights Heritage Home & Garden Tour Sept. 15," 30 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for tile

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for tile

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tile.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tile. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for tile


How to pronounce tile (audio)

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 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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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

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out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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