preposition & conjunction
- As it happens, the lads are a little bleary-eyed today, having partied till late the previous night.
- The police refused till the previous owners were tracked down and said that would require too much police work.
- The revelers partied on till midnight, until everyone had their fill of food, drink and dancing.
Old English til, of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse til 'to', also ultimately to till3.
In most contexts till and until have the same meaning and are interchangeable. The main difference is that till is generally considered to be the more informal of the two, and occurs less frequently than until in writing. Until also tends to be the natural choice at the beginning of a sentence: until very recently, there was still a chance of rescuing the situation. Interestingly, while it is commonly assumed that till is an abbreviated form of until (the spellings ‘till and ’til reflect this), till is in fact the earlier form. Until appears to have been formed by the addition of Old Norse und ‘as far as’ several hundred years after the date of the first records for till.
- What follows is the city economy in decline, no money in the tills and shops closing.
- The robbers forced the drawers from the two tills on the main counter and the drive-through and ran off with an undisclosed amount of money.
- Questions were raised as to why barcodes were missing from stock and receipts were not used when money passed through the shop tills.
late Middle English (in the general sense 'drawer or compartment for valuables'): of unknown origin.
have (or with) one's fingers (or hand) in the till
- Used in reference to theft from one’s place of work: he was caught with his hand in the till and sackedMore example sentences
- He ran a bank in Jordan in the 1980s, but had to flee Amman in 1989 when he allegedly was caught with his hand in the till.
- That poor bloke has been caught with his hand in the till over his EU expenses.
- A bar worker at a the hotel was caught with his fingers in the till after management set up a covert surveillance system.
- Aggie and her husband Pat were farming people who tilled the land, harvested the crops and raised livestock.
- The Tongas whose major occupation has been agriculture used livestock for tilling the land, getting milk for sale and home consumption.
- Just a quarter of the country's farm land is tilled under valid land use contracts.
Old English tilian 'strive for, obtain by effort', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch telen 'produce, cultivate' and German zielen 'aim, strive', also ultimately to till1. The current sense dates from Middle English.
- More example sentences
- ‘Only about 5 acres were tillable,’ he recalls.
- ‘It had just three acres of tillable ground on a beautiful mountain side, but very rocky, rough conditions,’ Andrew remembers.
- The land consists of 30 acres of tillable fields, a creek, and hundreds of tall maple trees.
noun[mass noun] Geology
- Glacial tills (boulder clays) and their ancient equivalents, tillites, are of this type.
late 17th century (originally Scots, denoting shale): of unknown origin.