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


We installed new tile in the kitchen.


We hired him to tile the bathroom floor.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Contractors will remove the original tile flooring and asbestos, then polish the concrete floor below. Don Stacom, courant.com, "At 70, New Britain firehouse gets overhaul," 10 Sep. 2019 The house comes with coffered ceilings, a gourmet kitchen and travertine tile flooring. Ebony Day, azcentral, "5 Paradise Valley homes sell for more than $2M," 9 Sep. 2019 The two-and-a-half floor space is finished in polished wood and stone, bright ceramic tiles and top-quality furnishings. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "No pingpong here: CBRE's plush Hana shared office has sleek design, lots of flexibility," 26 Aug. 2019 During the day, the building’s scale-like ceramic tiles glint in the sunlight; at night, the space glows like Neptune’s underwater castle. George W. Stone, National Geographic, "Dinosaurs to gladiators: 10 World Heritage trips for families," 16 Aug. 2019 Four of them, draped in custom ceramic tile by Laird Plumleigh, pop up in the living spaces. Jack Flemming, latimes.com, "Hot Property: Donald Trump, art of the Beverly Hills deal," 22 June 2019 Interior design features include a white-oak floating staircase with glass railings, oak and limestone-tile flooring, designer wall coverings and smart-house technology. Robyn A. Friedman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Ocean Ridge estate in country music video listed for $24.95 million," 27 Mar. 2018 Apartment amenities include tile flooring, a dishwasher, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and a custom closet. miamiherald, "Renting in Miami: What will $2,000 get you? | Miami Herald," 22 Mar. 2018 Location: 6814 Abercon Trail, Noblesville • Details: Five bedrooms, 3.5 baths, two 3-car heated garages, 5,660 square feet, oversized black and white tile flooring, Corinthian columns, built-in firepit and pool, 18-foot ceilings, three fireplaces. Emma Kate Fittes, Indianapolis Star, "Hot Property: Go down the rabbit hole in this high-end and whimsical Noblesville house," 9 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The bathroom was tiled from floor to ceiling in a colorful swirly square pattern found throughout the hotel, and the Malin+Goetz bath products were plentiful and on point. Marc Davila, House Beautiful, "Hotel San Cristobal Is the Ultimate End-of-Summer Vacation Spot," 27 Aug. 2019 Scholtz says the process is somewhat like tiling a floor. Emily Price, Fortune, "Curious What Jony Ive Might Design After Apple? This Ring Might Be a Clue," 17 Aug. 2019 There are tented powder rooms, sunrooms swathed in a kaleidoscopic array of patterns, and spaces tiled in every color under the sun—including mirror. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "This Instagram Account of '80s Decor Will Be Your New Favorite Follow," 28 June 2019 The front entry is also tiled, but the rest of the first floor public areas use hardwood walnut flooring. courant.com, "Property of the Week: 5 Stonebridge Lane, West Hartford," 2 Aug. 2019 Ryan grew up in Peabody learning how to tile floors and put up dry wall. Naomi Kooker, BostonGlobe.com, "North Andover’s Wine Lab mixes hip with hospitality," 31 July 2019 The new bathrooms are fully tiled and awaiting fixtures. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Improvements at Brown Deer Schools are nearing completion and should be done by late August," 17 July 2019 Imagine the floor of your bedroom is tiled with regular hexagons, all the same size, and each hexagon is divided into six equilateral triangles. Quanta Magazine, "The Brain Maps Out Ideas and Memories Like Spaces," 14 Jan. 2019 Dementia prevented her from learning that the pentagon tiling story has finally come to a close, decades after Gardner first called it. Quanta Magazine, "Marjorie Rice’s Secret Pentagons," 11 July 2017

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

14 Sep 2019

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 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

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


to make a temporary encampment

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