Definition of tegula in English:


nounPlural tegulae

  • 1Entomology
    A small scale-like sclerite covering the base of the forewing in many insects.

    • ‘With the wing in the open-position a membrane fold touches the tegula.’
    • ‘With pollinarium removed, exposing the scar left after the removal of the tegula.’
    • ‘They both have bifoliate pseudobulbs that are separated by a long rhizome covered by coriaceous bracts, a pollinarium of Type 1 composed of a liguliform tegula, with conspicuous resin or wax-like rewards at the lip surface.’
  • 2Archaeology
    A flat roof tile, used especially in ancient Rome.

    • ‘The gaps between the tegulae were covered with curved tiles, semi-circular in section, called imbrices.’
    • ‘The concave-shaped tile is the tegula and the convex-shaped tile, holding together the two tegulae, is the imbrex.’
    • ‘However, some 2kg were identified as fragments of tegulae, while 1kg comprised fragments of imbrex.’
    • ‘Roof tile in the form of two tegulae and three imbrices were recovered as well as brick fragments, which suggests there was little by way of Roman building on the more southerly site.’


Early 19th century: from Latin, literally ‘tile’, from tegere ‘to cover’.