from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A thin, flat or convex slab of hard material such as baked clay or plastic, laid in rows to cover walls, floors, and roofs.
  • noun A short length of pipe made of clay or concrete, used in sewers and drains.
  • noun A hollow fired clay or concrete block used for building walls.
  • noun Tiles considered as a group.
  • noun Games A marked playing piece, as in mahjong.
  • transitive verb To cover or provide with tiles.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To provide with tile-drains, as land.
  • In freemasonry, to guard against the entrance of the uninitiated by placing the tiler at the closed door: as, to tile a lodge; to tile a meeting.
  • To bind to keep what is said or done in strict secrecy.
  • noun A thin slab or plate of baked clay, used for covering the roofs of buildings, paving floors, lining furnaces and ovens, constructing drains, etc., and variously compounded and shaped according to the use in view.
  • noun A similar slab or plate of pottery, glazed and often decorated, used for ornamental pavements, revetments to walls, etc.; also, a like slab of porcelain, glazed and plain or decorated; an encaustic tile; also, a slab of stone or marble used with others like it in a pavement or revetment.
  • noun In metallurgy, a small flat piece of dried earth or earthenware used to cover vessels in which metals are fused.
  • noun A section of pipe of earthenware, glazed or unglazed.
  • noun Tiles of any kind collectively; tiling; construction of tiles.
  • noun A tall stiff hat; a silk hat: humorously compared to a section of pipe (hence also called stovepipe).
  • noun Same as til-tree.
  • To cover or roof with tiles.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To cover with tiles.
  • transitive verb Fig.: To cover, as if with tiles.
  • noun A plate, or thin piece, of baked clay, used for covering the roofs of buildings, for floors, for drains, and often for ornamental mantel works.
  • noun A small slab of marble or other material used for flooring.
  • noun A plate of metal used for roofing.
  • noun (Metal.) A small, flat piece of dried earth or earthenware, used to cover vessels in which metals are fused.
  • noun A draintile.
  • noun colloq. A stiff hat.
  • noun a drain made of tiles.
  • noun [Prov. Eng.] a species of strong, clayey earth; stiff and stubborn land.
  • noun a kiln in which tiles are burnt; a tilery.
  • noun (Min.) an earthy variety of cuprite.
  • noun light red like the color of tiles or bricks.
  • noun a kind of hard, flat brick tea. See Brick tea, under Brick.
  • transitive verb To protect from the intrusion of the uninitiated.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A regularly-shaped slab of clay or other material, affixed to cover or decorate a surface, as in a roof-tile, glazed tile, stove tile, etc.
  • noun computing A rectangular graphic.
  • noun Any of various types of cuboid playing piece used in certain games, such as in dominoes, Scrabble, mahjong, or Rummikub.
  • verb To cover with tiles.
  • verb computing To arrange in a regular pattern, with adjoining edges (applied to tile-like objects, graphics, windows in a computer interface).

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

  • noun game equipment consisting of a flat thin piece marked with characters and used in board games like Mah-Jong, Scrabble, etc.
  • verb cover with tiles
  • noun a flat thin rectangular slab (as of fired clay or rubber or linoleum) used to cover surfaces
  • noun a thin flat slab of fired clay used for roofing


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

[Middle English, from Old English tigele, from Latin tēgula, from tegere, to cover; see (s)teg- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English tiġele


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  • the great mystery of From Thomas Carlyle's The French Revolution: what does he mean by "tile-colored" (like "tile-colored beard"?)

    March 6, 2011