from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. One of the small squares of stone or glass used in making mosaic patterns.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A small square piece of stone, wood, ivory or glass used for making a mosaic.
- n. complex-ridged surface feature seen on plateau highlands of Venus and perhaps on Triton
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A small piece of marble, glass, earthenware, or the like, having a square, or nearly square, face, used by the ancients for mosaic, as for making pavements, for ornamenting walls, and like purposes; also, a similar piece of ivory, bone, wood, etc., used as a ticket of admission to theaters, or as a certificate for successful gladiators, and as a token for various other purposes.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In zoology, a small, squarish plate of bone such as those forming the carapace of armadillos and glyptodons.
- n. A small piece of hard material, generally square in plan, used in combination with others of similar character for making mosaics. Tesseræ are small in surface, and are thick in proportion, and therein differ from tiles, which are large and flat.
- n. A die for playing fames of chance.
- n. A small square of bone, wood, or the like used in ancient Rome as a ticket of admission to the theater, etc.
- n. Same as tessera hospitalis (which see, below).
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a small square tile of stone or glass used in making mosaics
Latin, from Greek, neuter of tesseres, variant of tessares, four; see kwetwer- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin tessera ("a cube, a die with numbers on all six sides"), from Ancient Greek τέσσαρες (téssares, "four"). (Wiktionary)