Main definitions of till in English

: till1till2till3till4

till1

conjunction & preposition

  • less formal way of saying until
    until, up to, up till, up until, as late as, up to the time of, up to the time that, until such time as, pending
    before, prior to, previous to, up to, until, up until, up till, earlier than, in advance of, ante-, pre-
    View synonyms

Usage

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.

Origin

Old English til, of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse til to, also ultimately to till.

Pronunciation:

till

/tɪl/

Main definitions of till in English

: till1till2till3till4

till2

noun

  • A cash register or drawer for money in a shop, bank, or restaurant.

    ‘there were queues at the till’
    ‘checkout tills’
    • ‘I would guess they just tot up the totals and check that the till has that much money in it.’
    • ‘What follows is the city economy in decline, no money in the tills and shops closing.’
    • ‘Crowds of shoppers queued to get in shops and then queued at the tills.’
    • ‘They took money from the till and a quantity of cigarettes after threatening staff.’
    • ‘Questions were raised as to why barcodes were missing from stock and receipts were not used when money passed through the shop tills.’
    • ‘Thieves grabbed cash from a till in a wine shop and escaped with about £190.’
    • ‘The pair, both wearing black balaclavas, held three women at gunpoint with a small black pistol, while demanding money from the tills.’
    • ‘The assistant had taken the money and opened the till, when the man jumped over the counter and pushed her.’
    • ‘Shop staff have been warned to be on their guard after two men tried to steal money from a till.’
    • ‘In some cases, retailers are also using advances in electronic technology to link tills to cigarette dispensing machines.’
    • ‘I work harder than most people here, sell more beer, take more money, and my tills are always spot on at the end of the night.’
    • ‘He then ordered an employee to turn over money from both of the shop's tills.’
    • ‘Whilst waiting for a member of staff to fetch the card, the man produced a gun, jumped over the counter and took money from both tills.’
    • ‘But when the shop assistant opened the till, the thief grabbed the notes and made off.’
    • ‘Why not scrap all parking fees for, say, one month, and hear the shop tills ring?’
    • ‘That went fine until they opened the till to pull out the cash.’
    • ‘Previously thriving tea rooms and the farm shops were empty and tills stood idle.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As well as the money ringing in charity shop tills, they collect throughout the day, choosing a local good cause to benefit.’
    • ‘He said it probably belonged to an engineer who was repairing one of the service tills on Friday.’
    cash register, cash box, cash drawer, strongbox
    checkout, cash desk, pay desk, counter
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (in the general sense ‘drawer or compartment for valuables’): of unknown origin.

Pronunciation:

till

/tɪl/

Main definitions of till in English

: till1till2till3till4

till3

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Prepare and cultivate (land) for crops.

    ‘no land was being tilled or crops sown’
    • ‘Just a quarter of the country's farm land is tilled under valid land use contracts.’
    • ‘But the essence is to offer those local farmers and communities a different and better way of tilling their land, of growing things properly in a law abiding way.’
    • ‘Aggie and her husband Pat were farming people who tilled the land, harvested the crops and raised livestock.’
    • ‘Delia and Jimmy were farming people who tilled the land and looked after the livestock.’
    • ‘The participants also learnt that tilling their land every season was a bad practice which led to poor yields as the soil's chemistry and physics were destabilised.’
    • ‘If all those workers had remained tilling the land, America would now be a lot poorer.’
    • ‘Marty and Clark have settled into their married life together, busily tilling the land and tending to their two youngest children.’
    • ‘Some land was tilled, mainly for the cultivation of oats that formed a staple part of the diet of the settler community.’
    • ‘The British arrived from a land of neat farms, specific hedgerows, a regular cycle of tilling the land and a cultivation timetable based on seasons.’
    • ‘Land records are rarely updated, and people who have been tilling the land for years after inheriting it from their parents are not listed as co-sharers.’
    • ‘The farmers tilled the arable land and the grazers fed their herds in land unfit for farming.’
    • ‘The Tongas whose major occupation has been agriculture used livestock for tilling the land, getting milk for sale and home consumption.’
    • ‘But should we not remember who it was who broke the land and tilled the soil?’
    • ‘The cave where their grandfather lived while he tilled the land for the first time stood behind us.’
    • ‘The fields can no longer be tilled because the crops won't grow any more.’
    • ‘This is because correct land selection is the most important aspect every grower should consider before tilling their land.’
    • ‘More than 80 percent of Palestinians lived in villages and tilled the land of absentee landlords.’
    • ‘Settlers tilled the land, maintained livestock, and fished along the shore.’
    • ‘Consequently, the landless formulated a code of their own for agrarian reform, based on the principle that only those directly tilling the land had a right to own it.’
    • ‘They were farming people who worked and tilled the land and raised livestock.’
    cultivate, work, farm, plough, dig, spade, turn over, turn up, break up, loosen, harrow, prepare, fertilize, plant
    delve
    View synonyms

Origin

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 till. The current sense dates from Middle English.

Pronunciation:

till

/tɪl/

Main definitions of till in English

: till1till2till3till4

till4

noun

Geology
  • [mass noun] Boulder clay or other sediment deposited by melting glaciers or ice sheets.

    • ‘Glacial tills (boulder clays) and their ancient equivalents, tillites, are of this type.’

Origin

Late 17th century (originally Scots, denoting shale): of unknown origin.

Pronunciation:

till

/tɪl/