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

  • transitive v. To prepare (land) for the raising of crops, as by plowing and harrowing; cultivate.
  • prep. Until.
  • conj. Until.
  • n. A drawer, small chest, or compartment for money, as in a store.
  • n. A supply of money; a purse.
  • n. Glacial drift composed of an unconsolidated, heterogeneous mixture of clay, sand, pebbles, cobbles, and boulders.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • prep. to
  • prep. until, up to, as late as (a given time)
  • conj. until, until the time that
  • n. A cash register
  • n. A removable box within a cash register containing the money
  • n. The contents of a cash register, for example at the beginning or end of the day or of a cashier's shift
  • n. glacial drift consisting of a mixture of clay, sand, pebbles and boulders
  • n. manure or other material used to fertilize land
  • v. to develop so as to improve or prepare for usage; to cultivate (said of knowledge, virtue, mind etc)
  • v. to work or cultivate or plough (soil); to prepare for growing vegetation and crops
  • v. to cultivate soil

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • conj. As far as; up to the place or degree that; especially, up to the time that; that is, to the time specified in the sentence or clause following; until.
  • n. A vetch; a tare.
  • n. A tray or drawer in a chest.
  • n. A money drawer in a shop or store.
  • n. A deposit of clay, sand, and gravel, without lamination, formed in a glacier valley by means of the waters derived from the melting glaciers; -- sometimes applied to alluvium of an upper river terrace, when not laminated, and appearing as if formed in the same manner.
  • n. A kind of coarse, obdurate land.
  • prep. To; unto; up to; as far as; until; -- now used only in respect to time, but formerly, also, of place, degree, etc., and still so used in Scotland and in parts of England and Ireland
  • intransitive v. To cultivate land.
  • transitive v. To plow and prepare for seed, and to sow, dress, raise crops from, etc., to cultivate.
  • transitive v. To prepare; to get.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To exert one's self for; labor for; procure by exertion; earn; gain; obtain; get.
  • To attain; reach; extend.
  • To labor on; work; cultivate: as, to till the soil.
  • To set; prepare.
  • To prop up.
  • To; unto: expressing motion to a place or person.
  • Up to; down to; as far as: expressing distance, extent, or degree.
  • To; unto: expressing action directed to or having regard to a person.
  • To; unto: expressing change or result.
  • To the time of; until: as, I waited till five o'clock.
  • To the time that; to the time when; until.
  • To draw; pull; hence, to entice; allure.
  • To draw; stretch; reach.
  • n. A drawer; a tray, as of a trunk or box. Also called tiller.
  • n. Specifically A money-drawer; a drawer under or in a shop-counter, in which money is kept.
  • n. In printing: In earlier forms of hand printing-presses, a crosspiece extending between the main uprights of the frame, and serving to guide and steady the hose or sleeve, which contained the spindle and screws. Also called shelf.
  • n. One of the spaces or cells between the ribbed projections of the platen of a hand-press.
  • n. In geology, a stiff clay containing boulders of all sizes up to several tons in weight, and these often smoothed and striated by glacial action.

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

  • v. work land as by ploughing, harrowing, and manuring, in order to make it ready for cultivation
  • n. unstratified soil deposited by a glacier; consists of sand and clay and gravel and boulders mixed together
  • n. a treasury for government funds
  • n. a strongbox for holding cash


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

Middle English tilen, from Old English tilian.
Middle English, from Old English til, from Old Norse.
Middle English tille.
Origin unknown.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English (Northumbrian) til, from Old Norse til.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English tillen "to draw" from Old English -tyllan (as in betyllan "to lure, decoy," and fortyllan "draw away;" related to tollian). Or alternatively from Anglo-Norman tylle "compartment" from Old French tille "compartment, shelter on a ship" from Old Norse þilja "plank." Cognate with Albanian ndjell ("I lure, attract").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English tilian

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Unknown, but possibly via etymology 3 (the verb) because alluvial deposit is used as a fertilizer.



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  • That may be, in part, because he is an old-fashioned generalist, more interested in understanding the connective tissue between seemingly disparate ideas than in tilling a small patch of disciplinary soil.

    Till: transitive v. To prepare (land) for the raising of crops, as by plowing and harrowing; cultivate.

    January 18, 2018

  • I found out that till is short for 'to while'.

    Here's an analytical study of 'to' 'till' 'until'.

    It's good reading.

    "An analytical dictionary of the English language - Page clxxix

    David Booth - 1835 - Read - More editions

    that Till is a word compounded of To and While, i. e. Time. And you will observe that the coalescence of ... So that when we say 'from morn till night ' it is no more than if we said 'from morn to time night.' When we say 'from morn to night,' the ..."

    February 21, 2013

  • An interesting article on the subject of a minute difference between till and until.

    February 20, 2013

  • An alternative way of saying 'to' (Belfast)

    'I'm going to till the shop."

    July 27, 2011

  • How do you know that till came first? Link, please. :)

    March 3, 2011

  • So, is until what I do to my garden after the harvest?

    March 1, 2011

  • Hmph.

    *wanders over to 'cause*

    February 28, 2011

  • That makes sense, rolig. After all, you only have to write one extra letter, and you don't have to worry about that extra l.

    February 28, 2011

  • That makes me feel a little better--I was assuming until was long for unto.

    February 28, 2011

  • Actually, until is long for till. "Till" came first.

    February 28, 2011

  • Why is till short for until? You save yourself only one letter, and you have to remember to add in that extra l.

    February 28, 2011

  • Online Dictionary. The size and shape of the sediments that constitute till vary widely.

    October 7, 2010