[ tes-er-uh ]
/ ˈtɛs ər ə /
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noun, plural tes·ser·ae [tes-uh-ree]. /ˈtɛs əˌri/.
one of the small pieces used in mosaic work.
a small square of bone, wood, or the like, used in ancient times as a token, tally, ticket, etc.
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Origin of tessera
1640–50; <Latin <Greek (Ionic) tésseresfour
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use tessera in a sentence
The nave and porch were floored with plain red tesserae: in the apse was a simple mosaic panel in red, black and white.
The vats are often lined with cement containing datable potsherds, and are sometimes paved with mosaic tesserae.How to Observe in Archaeology|Various
Each of these men who have gone the rounds (tessarii) at daybreak conveys the tesserae to the Tribune on duty.
In the former the cubes, tesserae, are on the average a little less than half an inch square.Pompeii, Its Life and Art|August Mau
Four tali were used at a time and they, like the tesserae, were generally thrown from a box, fritillus.Cato Maior de Senectute|Marcus Tullius Cicero
British Dictionary definitions for tessera
/ (ˈtɛsərə) /
noun plural -serae (-səˌriː)
a small square tile of stone, glass, etc, used in mosaics
a die, tally, etc, used in classical times, made of bone or wood
Derived forms of tesseratesseral, adjective
Word Origin for tessera
C17: from Latin, from Ionic Greek tesseres four
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012