Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A diacritical mark ( ~ ) placed over the letter n in Spanish to indicate the palatal nasal sound (ny), as in cañon, or over a vowel in Portuguese to indicate nasalization, as in lã, pão.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The grapheme of character ~.
  • n. A key found on some types of keyboards.
  • n. The character used to represent negation, usually ~ or ¬.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The accentual mark placed over n, and sometimes over l, in Spanish words [thus, ñ, �], indicating that, in pronunciation, the sound of the following vowel is to be preceded by that of the initial, or consonantal, y.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A diacritic mark (˜) placed over the letter n in Spanish to indicate that it is sounded as a palatal n, or very nearly like n followed by y, as in señor, pronounced sã˙nyôr′ , cañon, pronounced känyôn′ , and hence in English written canyon.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a diacritical mark (~) placed over the letter n in Spanish to indicate a palatal nasal sound or over a vowel in Portuguese to indicate nasalization

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Spanish, alteration of obsolete Catalan title, from Latin titulus, superscription.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Spanish tilde, from Latin titulus ("superscript").

Examples

  • The tilde is the ~, probably located at the upper left of your keyboard.

    Conservapedia - Recent changes [en]

  • Far too many people mistakenly refer to this key as the tilde (~) key because the tilde is the shifted character over the accent grave on standard US keyboards.

    Adobe Blogs

  • It's called a tilde, and it lets you turn the gravity off.

    Computer And Video Games

  • And I had one other idea convoed to me through Etsy... a "tilde" which is that squiggly punctuation mark used in the Spanish language over an "N".

    Kiss My Curvy "S" or What Should I Name These?

  • Use a "tilde" e.g.: "~infosys" finds IT companies similar to Infosys 13

    Recently Uploaded Slideshows

  • I need a better domain, one without a tilde which is a pain to type, though once you add it to your Blackberry bookmarks it’s just a click.

    Scripting News for 6/28/2007 « Scripting News Annex

  • To type the ñ Press the shift key and the tilde key ~ nothing will happen until you press the n key, when you do it in sequence you will get the ñ.

    Should vs. Must?

  • ALABAMA ADOPTS SB 1070-STYLE LAW - The state known far and wide for its history of treating people who don't look like Pat Boone with the utmost respect continued to honor that tradition today when its governor signed a bill that will basically create an environment where white people won't want to be seen near anyone with a tilde in their name.

    HUFFPOST HILL - Gingrich Staffers Break Free

  • In mine all the Spanish words that had a tilde were misspelled -- a quirk of the computer code apparently.

    Publishers and bloggers

  • The law prohibits individuals from transporting or in anyway "concealing" undocumented immigrants, requires schools to check the citizenship status of students and, generally speaking, requires non-Hispanic citizens to scream "COOTIES!" every time they find themselves in the presence a caramel-skinned individual or see a tilde on a government form.

    HUFFPOST HILL - Congress Turns The Sky Into Milton Friedman's Playground

Comments

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  • Everybody stand back! I know regular expressions. :D

    January 6, 2009

  • =~ (not ~=) is used in the computer language Perl, and acts as the "binding operator" for regular expressions.

    January 6, 2009

  • also known as the 'swung dash'.

    April 23, 2008

  • It's searchable online, but I believe you have to be a subscriber to use it. My employer is a subscriber and I use it frequently at work.

    They do have an RSS feed (or is that redundant?) for a Word of the Day, which I've never used but it seems like it would be fun. Maybe I'll try it.

    February 13, 2007

  • I stand corrected. I need to pick up the OED. Or is it searchable online?

    February 13, 2007

  • I've always pronounced it "tildeh," or "tild-uh," as seanahan listed it. I have only ever known it as the symbol inkhorn cited so I can't speak to that usage, though OED lists its secondary meaning as "a symbol in Math. and Logic, chiefly to indicate negation."

    February 13, 2007

  • Twiddle is a thing used in math. I've heard the pronunciations "tild", "tildee", and "tild-uh". I can't remember where I saw ~= used to be not equals, so I'll have to track it down. I've also seen ~ used to be about equals.

    February 4, 2007

  • I always thought that use meant approximately, not not. Handwritten on paper you'd see one tilde drawn above another, to make a squiggly equals sign. It's the visual cue for for "fuzzy" equality, used when the answer is close to a given value but probably not exactly that value. Just like the analog counterpart to != is an equals sign with a slash through it, evoking a "no parking" symbol to nullify the operator. Then again, we all tend to draw symbols differently, and maybe use different visual cues; so I'm not saying you're wrong. I just haven't seen that before.

    By the way, let's set the record straight... is it pronounced "tild" or "tildee?" Or "twiddle," which is another thing I've never seen before?

    February 4, 2007

  • This symbol is used in various places as a "not" symbol, sometimes pronounced as "twiddle", with "~=" akin to "!=".

    February 3, 2007

  • There's a cool article I happened to find and have no affiliation with whatsoever. http://diveintomark.org/archives/2002/10/04/history_of_the_tilde

    February 3, 2007

  • Tilde Accent: jalapeño

    December 19, 2006