Definition of tile in English:



  • 1A thin rectangular slab of baked clay, concrete, or other material, used in overlapping rows for covering roofs.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Clay tiles are the most common type of masonry chimney liners.’
    • ‘Extensive repairs to the roof are also under way and roofers from Wales are replacing tiles, insulating the roof and repairing damaged timber work.’
    • ‘Joseph beckoned to the leader, gesturing for him to enter his house, which was much nicer than the average mud huts of the villagers, being made of wood with thin tiles on the roofs.’
    • ‘Rusted sheet metal, asphaltic roofing, old boards, or slate tiles are other roofing alternatives.’
    • ‘Clay and concrete roofing tiles are generally available in two shapes: profile and flat.’
    • ‘DuVal had begun to manufacture clay roofing tile and, by 1811, salt-glazed stone-ware.’
    • ‘The villages, where they were not destroyed in the ravages of war, were composed of small cottages with mostly thatched roofs or grey tiles.’
    • ‘He later told them he had replaced 70 roof tiles and had re-pointed the chimney stack.’
    • ‘In order to create a varied appearance, the developers have used a range of different bricks and roof tiles.’
    • ‘Mud-and-straw bricks and clay roof tiles are free and available, and people save labor costs by building their own homes.’
    • ‘The hospital, which remains to this day, was built of bricks and tiles made of clay from the valley a mile away using a wood fired kiln.’
    • ‘From the outside, the turreted building, with its terracotta roof tiles, looks like any extravagantly large house on an upmarket estate.’
    • ‘They have warned that distraction burglaries occur when con artists offer to repair roofs, replace tiles and fix other weather damage.’
    • ‘Remove enough of the roof shingles, tiles, gravel, or other roofing material down to the tar paper.’
    • ‘And he added the insistence on such things as hand-made clay peg tiles for the roof would make the restoration expensive.’
    • ‘Unlike some other roofing products, clay roof tiles maintain their color over time.’
    • ‘To offset how depressing having solid black buildings would be, all the roofs were made of brightly colored clay tiles.’
    • ‘Clay or terracotta tiles are among the most eye-catching and characteristic roofing materials used in medieval buildings.’
    • ‘Local limestone and red clay roof tile recall the older buildings but express modern construction methods.’
    1. 1.1A thin square slab of glazed ceramic, cork, linoleum, or other material for covering floors, walls, or other surfaces.
      • ‘This includes wall and floor tiles, closet, washbasin with pedestal and associated fittings.’
      • ‘Attractive floor and wall tiles give this room a modern feel.’
      • ‘Behind this is a compact kitchen with large quarry floor tiles and white tiled walls.’
      • ‘The kitchen contains a good range of oak fitted units, partly tiled walls and attractive ceramic floor tiles.’
      • ‘Most homes now have double glazing and efficient central heating so more and more of us are laying wall and floor tiles with stunning effects.’
      • ‘The bathrooms have mosaic wall and floor tiles, chrome bathroom fittings and heated towel rails.’
      • ‘The family bathroom has linoleum flooring, black wall tiles and a linen cupboard.’
      • ‘I need some help with the removal of old square cork tiles from the bedroom wall.’
      • ‘Beside this, the bathroom has an attractive design scheme with varnished wooden floors, mosaic wall tiles and glass bricks.’
      • ‘The bathroom has a turquoise glass mosaic wall, floor tiles, a large bath with frosted glass base and shower attachment.’
      • ‘The continuity of floor and wall tiles visually integrates a rimless shower with the rest of the bathroom.’
      • ‘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 heat is conducted through the metal casings of the tiles to the floor surface.’
      • ‘Standard features include fitted kitchens with Italian floor and wall tiles, fully tiled bathrooms and video security systems.’
      • ‘The walls are part tiled and there are cork tiles on the floor.’
      • ‘The sink and toilet and enormous bath, complete with tiled steps, were all black while the porcelain floor and wall tiles were a dusky rose veined with cream.’
      • ‘The accommodation is completed by a family bathroom with white floor tiles and part-tiled walls.’
      • ‘These repair techniques can be used on vinyl tiles, vinyl sheet floor covering or linoleum.’
      • ‘Suitable for indoor and outdoor use, these stones can also be mounted within existing floor or wall tiles.’
    2. 1.2A thin, flat piece used in Scrabble, mah-jongg, and certain other games.
      • ‘There are about half a dozen types of tiles in the game, each of which is scored differently.’
      • ‘Glue magnets to the back of Scrabble game tiles to turn the box's lid into a message board.’
      • ‘There is no boneyard in this game; any leftover tiles are put aside and left face down.’
      • ‘Like ‘solution’ or the blank tiles in Scrabble, you can use it anywhere, though it adds no other value.’
      • ‘That's just scrabble tiles but they're not spelling out any real word.’
      • ‘Pai Gow Tiles is an intricate game that is played with a set of 32 tiles or dominoes.’
      • ‘People are chattering and laughing; dice are being thrown; there is the constant clattering of mah-jong tiles.’
      • ‘Mah-jongg, a Chinese game played with tiles, is very popular, especially with women.’
      • ‘Each game will be a bit different, depending on which tiles get pulled and how they are placed.’
      • ‘Clues could be rejected or swapped, a bit like scrabble tiles.’
      • ‘In the old days the alley resounded to the click of mah-jongg tiles and fan-tan, a gambling game from which it derives its name.’
      • ‘Its markets smelt of durian and its cafés click-clacked with the snap of mah-jong tiles.’
      • ‘Dominoes, Mah Jong, Scrabble tiles, and other game pieces have surfaced as an extremely popular art use.’
      • ‘You could find a magic trick in which the person has to first spell their name using scrabble tiles.’
      • ‘Players have to bring their own scrabble sets, tiles in cloth bags and also a pen or pencil for score keeping.’
      • ‘Participants are requested to bring their own scrabble boards and tiles.’
      • ‘To qualify, they had to work in a phrase the way a blank tile works in Scrabble: you can use it anywhere, but it has no value.’
      • ‘She had the scrabble tiles in a Seagram's blue flannel bag with a gold cord.’
      • ‘And if anyone can tell me why my beautiful scrabble tiles don't show up, I'd be well chuffed.’
      • ‘The unique aspect of this game derives from the variable value of the tiles played.’
    3. 1.3Mathematics A plane shape used in tiling.
      • ‘But we can begin first with a volume of fixed curvature, select a fundamental tile, and apply the rules for gluing the edges.’
      • ‘An algorithm for deciding whether or not an arbitrary tile tessellates the plane could then be constructed as follows.’
      • ‘This can be done with modifications of Penrose's tile, as with the simple example shown in Figure 8.’
      • ‘Until recently, it was thought that there were no flat tilings that had five-fold symmetry, until Penrose discovered two tiles that do!’


  • 1 Cover (something) with tiles.

    ‘the lobby was tiled in blue’
    • ‘Put together the badges I've worn at tradeshows, and you'd have enough to tile a wall.’
    • ‘After that it was plain sailing to tile half the room.’
    • ‘The family bathroom is fully tiled in blue and white and includes a bath with shower attachment.’
    • ‘The walls are tiled and the current owners have also installed a small window and heated towel rail.’
    • ‘This room is partially tiled in white and there is a large sash window overlooking the back garden.’
    • ‘The floor was tiled with marble paving and a large, square rug lay over it, almost covering the shiny slabs.’
    • ‘The utility room is fully tiled and has a selection of laundry cupboards as well as a washer-dryer.’
    • ‘This one makes you want to start tiling every roof.’
    • ‘This room retains its original tiled fireplace and is fitted with a double wardrobe.’
    • ‘Both the splashback and the floor are tiled in grey, while the walls are painted pale green.’
    • ‘The family bathroom is tiled from floor to ceiling and includes a bath with shower and some storage space.’
    • ‘The bathroom has a double shower cubicle, which is fully tiled with gold fittings.’
    • ‘I had hoped to be there, but I'll instead by tiling my bath in London.’
    • ‘The floor in this room is tiled and there are windows, to the south, west and north.’
    • ‘Now I can tile a floor, something I couldn't do before.’
    • ‘A shower room is situated between these two bedrooms and is tiled in ornate ceramics.’
    • ‘These rooms are extensively tiled and have windows to both the front and side.’
    • ‘The bathroom has also been tiled in blue and includes a freestanding cast iron bath and a heated towel rail.’
    • ‘You should start at a point near the centre of the area to be tiled, not at a corner.’
    • ‘The fully fitted pine kitchen is tiled and has a large storage cupboard as well as a smaller utility press.’
    cover, surface, floor, top, finish, asphalt, flag, tile, tar, tarmac, metal
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Computing Arrange (two or more windows) on a computer screen so that they do not overlap.
      • ‘Another shrinks the open windows and tiles them in a non-overlapping arrangement so you can see all of them at once.’
      • ‘Also, you can organize the conversation windows in cascade, tile or distribute them freely.’
      • ‘View all your open windows by tiling them.’


  • on the tiles

    • informal Having a lively night out.

      ‘it won't be the first time he's spent a night on the tiles’
      • ‘Jack decided he wanted to head out for a night out on the tiles after such a hectic week.’
      • ‘I think they were mainly aiming at the drunks, whose defences are down after a night on the tiles.’
      • ‘Either way, there was none of the buzz and vibrancy you'd want on a Friday night out on the tiles.’
      • ‘Whilst not the place for a crazed night on the tiles, it's certainly worth visiting if a relaxing drink is what you had in mind.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He looks round the room at the players who, by this point, are busy planning a night out on the tiles.’
      • ‘Would he celebrate with champagne and a night on the tiles with a clutch of sweet ladies?’
      • ‘Taking it before you start drinking is said to prevent the nausea and throbbing head that follow a night on the tiles.’
      • ‘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.’


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