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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ But last week, the town council unanimously rejected her request to officially add the tilde.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Tilde \Til"de\, n. [Sp., fr. L. titulus a superscription, title, token, sign. See Title, n.] The accentual mark placed over n, and sometimes over l, in Spanish words [thus, [~n], [~l]], indicating that, in pronunciation, the sound of the following vowel is to be preceded by that of the initial, or consonantal, y.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1864, from Spanish, metathesis of Catalan title, from vernacular form of Medieval Latin titulus "stroke over an abridged word to indicate missing letters," a specialized sense of Latin titulus, literally "inscription, heading" (see title (n.)). The mark itself represents an -n- and was used in Medieval Latin manuscripts in an abridged word over a preceding letter to indicate a missing -n- and save space.


n. 1 The grapheme of character ~. 2 # A diacritical mark ((l mul ˜)) placed above a letter to modify its pronunciation, such as by palatalization in Spanish words or nasalization in Portuguese words. 3 # A punctuation mark that indicates range (from a number to another number). 4 # May be used to represent approximation (mathematics). 5 A key found on some types of keyboards. 6 (context logic English) The character used to represent negation, usually ~ or ¬.


n. a diacritical mark (~) placed over the letter n in Spanish to indicate a palatal nasal sound or over a vowel in Portuguese to indicate nasalization


The tilde (; ˜ or ~) is a grapheme with several uses. The name of the character came into English from Spanish, which in turn came from the Latin titulus, meaning "title" or "superscription".

The reason for the name was that it was originally written over a letter as a scribal abbreviation, as a "mark of suspension", shown as a straight line when used with capitals. Thus the commonly used words Anno Domini were frequently abbreviated to A Dñi, an elevated terminal with a suspension mark placed over the "n". Such a mark could denote the omission of one letter or several letters. This saved on the expense of the scribe's labour and the cost of vellum and ink. Medieval European charters written in Latin are largely made up of such abbreviated words with suspension marks and other abbreviations; only uncommon words were given in full. The tilde has since been applied to a number of other uses as a diacritic mark or a character in its own right. These are encoded in Unicode at and , and there are additional similar characters for different roles. In lexicography, the latter kind of tilde and the swung dash (⁓) are used in dictionaries to indicate the omission of the entry word.

Usage examples of "tilde".

Kirk looked around, almost falling again, and saw ha Bem and the rest of the Pandronian soldiers following In the confusion which had thrown everyone to the 140 STAR TREK tilde tilde ground the well-trained Pandronian troops had reacted more professionally than the Klingon-led rebels.

But briefly, the situation In the s tilde called Cicada Sector is this: The sector was first reached-but never more than partially explored tilde ver a hundred and fitty terran years ago.

When he clamped both hands to the sides of his barrel-round stomach, Joc tilde lyn watched with dawning comprehension.

M33, the Triangulum Spiral, roughly two point three five million lighty tilde ars away?

Jocelyn has long been a staunch su tilde orter of A CAPITAL HOLIDAY 7 litera tilde programs.

Not since Jacqueline tilde nedy has a woman in the white House so thoroughly captured the fashion eye and the hearts of the American public.

The subject of his impending -- perh crucial tilde questions was sitting silently, apparently thinking hard.

STAR ORBS L tilde SEVEN Thousands of watching eyes saw the distant explosion and reacted.

Lying neafly along the back of an overstuffed green tilde fa was an afghan, hand tilde rocheted in a zigzag patLern that incorporated broad forest green stripes with riarrower bands of wine red and cream.

When Obediah chuckled, making mounds of his tilde rown cheeks, Jocelyn flashed both men a silencing ook.

Inhaling them, her sharp nose quicllly separated the yeasty aroma of fresh-baked bread from the cinnamon tilde piced scent of apple pie, sagey baked chicken from rosemaryed roast beef.

Despite its size and shape it bore an unm tilde takable, if faint, resemblance to another smaller, more familiar object .

She faced the nineteenbledoot-tall statue of Jefferson, dressed in knee breeches and a fiir tilde ollared greatcoaLike Something about the way she stood, the tilt of her head, confirmed what his instincts shouted.

Again the broad, sweeping gesture, this time taking in the entire hor tilde onless chamber: cages full of snaillike plants, plantlike snails, a cubicle lined with tiny 182 STAR TREK LOG Six colored balls, animals that resembled rocks, plants that resembled buildings, plant-animals like nothing on Earth.

You have to go through so many layers just to get an appointment with her-operators, secretaries, assi tilde tants.