Definition of tile in English:

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Pronunciation: /tʌɪl/


1A thin rectangular slab of baked clay or other material, used in overlapping rows for covering roofs: trees shook violently and tiles were dislodged from rooftops
More example sentences
  • Most of the homes of poor rural people are made of local materials, with floors of packed earth, walls of adobe or wattle and daub, and roofs of clay tiles or thatch.
  • Mud-and-straw bricks and clay roof tiles are free and available, and people save labor costs by building their own homes.
  • And he added the insistence on such things as hand-made clay peg tiles for the roof would make the restoration expensive.
1.1A thin square slab of glazed pottery or other material for covering floors, walls, or other surfaces: plain tiles in the kitchen will help to create a sense of space
More example sentences
  • A good tile design idea is to choose contrasting colors for the floor tiles and wall tiles.
  • Floor tiles and wall tiles are some of the most eye-catching materials displayed at the expo.
  • The continuity of floor and wall tiles visually integrates a rimless shower with the rest of the bathroom.
1.2A thin, flat piece used in Scrabble, mah-jong, and certain other games.
Example sentences
  • Dominoes, Mah Jong, Scrabble tiles, and other game pieces have surfaced as an extremely popular art use.
  • Mah-jongg, a Chinese game played with tiles, is very popular, especially with women.
  • There are about half a dozen types of tiles in the game, each of which is scored differently.
1.3 Mathematics A plane shape used in tiling.
Example sentences
  • An algorithm for deciding whether or not an arbitrary tile tessellates the plane could then be constructed as follows.
  • But we can begin first with a volume of fixed curvature, select a fundamental tile, and apply the rules for gluing the edges.
  • Until recently, it was thought that there were no flat tilings that had five-fold symmetry, until Penrose discovered two tiles that do!


[with object]
1Cover with tiles: the lobby was tiled in blue
More example sentences
  • The bathroom has also been tiled in blue and includes a freestanding cast iron bath and a heated towel rail.
  • The family bathroom is fully tiled in blue and white and includes a bath with shower attachment.
  • Now I can tile a floor, something I couldn't do before.
1.1 Computing Arrange (two or more windows) on a computer screen so that they do not overlap.
Example sentences
  • View all your open windows by tiling them.
  • Also, you can organize the conversation windows in cascade, tile or distribute them freely.
  • Another shrinks the open windows and tiles them in a non-overlapping arrangement so you can see all of them at once.


on the tiles

informal, chiefly British Having a lively night out: it won’t be the first time he’s spent a night on the tiles
More example sentences
  • As Britain gears up for a night of New Year festivities a survey has shown that eight out of ten people do not want to spend a night on the tiles.
  • He looks as if he has barely survived a night on the tiles; he makes mistakes and you are never entirely convinced he has the skill to win the day.
  • Like any 23-year-old, she apparently enjoys a night out on the tiles with the girls.


Old English tigele, from Latin tegula, from an Indo-European root meaning 'cover'.

Words that rhyme with tile

aisle, Argyle, awhile, beguile, bile, Carlisle, Carlyle, compile, De Stijl, ensile, file, guile, I'll, interfile, isle, Kabyle, kyle, lisle, Lyle, Mikhail, mile, Nile, pile, rank-and-file, resile, rile, Ryle, Sieg Heil, smile, spile, stile, style, vile, Weil, while, wile, worthwhile

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: tile

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