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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English tile, tyle, tigel, tiȝel, teȝele, from Old English tieġle, tiġle, tiġele (tile; brick), from Proto-Germanic *tigulǭ (tile), from Latin tēgula. Cognate with Saterland Frisian Tichel (tile), West Frisian teil, tegel, tichel (tile), Dutch tichel, tegel (tile), German Ziegel (brick; tile), Danish tegl (brick), Swedish tegel (brick; tile), Icelandic tigl (tile; brick).


tile (plural tiles)

  1. 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, carpet tile etc.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 3, in The China Governess[1]:
      Sepia Delft tiles surrounded the fireplace, their crudely drawn Biblical scenes in faded cyclamen blending with the pinkish pine, while above them, instead of a mantelshelf, there was an archway high enough to form a balcony with slender balusters and a tapestry-hung wall behind.
  2. (computing) A rectangular graphic.
    Each tile within Google Maps consists of 256 × 256 pixels.
    Sprites and tiles that are hidden in the prototype ROM file can be recovered.
  3. Any of various types of cuboid playing piece used in certain games, such as in dominoes, Scrabble, or mahjong.
  4. (dated) A stiff hat.
    • 1865, Charles Dickens, Doctor Marigold's Prescriptions, Chapter III
      Tile - Tile, a Hat.
    • 1911, Charles Collins, Fred E. Terry and E.A. Sheppard, "Any Old Iron", British Music Hall song
      Dressed in style, brand-new tile, And your father's old green tie on.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]


tile (third-person singular simple present tiles, present participle tiling, simple past and past participle tiled)

  1. (transitive) To cover with tiles.
    • 1980, Robert M. Jones, editor, Walls and Ceilings, Time-Life Books, →ISBN, page 38:
      Some professionals begin tiling a wall by setting a full tile in the most visually prominent corner []
    The handyman tiled the kitchen.
    White marble tiled the bathroom.
  2. (computing) To arrange in a regular pattern, with adjoining edges (applied to tile-like objects, graphics, windows in a computer interface).
  3. (computing theory) To optimize (a loop in program code) by means of the tiling technique.
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

See tiler (doorkeeper at a Masonic lodge).

Alternative forms[edit]


tile (third-person singular simple present tiles, present participle tiling, simple past and past participle tiled)

  1. To protect from the intrusion of the uninitiated.
    to tile a Masonic lodge
    tile the door




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tile m (genitive singular tile, nominative plural tilí)

  1. (nautical, literary) board, plank (of boat)
  2. (nautical)
    1. sheets
    2. poop


Derived terms[edit]


Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
tile thile dtile
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Further reading[edit]

  • "tile" in Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla, An Gúm, 1977, by Niall Ó Dónaill.
  • Entries containing “tile” in English-Irish Dictionary, An Gúm, 1959, by Tomás de Bhaldraithe.
  • Entries containing “tile” in New English-Irish Dictionary by Foras na Gaeilge.