[ teer ]
/ tɪər /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: tier / tiers on Thesaurus.com


one of a series of rows or ranks rising one behind or above another, as of seats in an amphitheater, boxes in a theater, guns in a man-of-war, or oars in an ancient galley.
one of a number of galleries, as in a theater.
a layer; level; stratum: The wedding cake had six tiers. All three tiers of the firm's management now report to one director.
Australian. a mountain range.

verb (used with object)

to arrange in tiers.

verb (used without object)

to rise in tiers.



Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of tier

1560–70; earlier also tire, tyre, teare<Middle French, Old French tire, tiere order, row, rank <Germanic; compare Old English, Old Saxon tīr,Old High German zēri glory, adornment

Definition for tier (2 of 2)

[ tahy-er ]
/ ˈtaɪ ər /


a person or thing that ties.
Nautical. a short rope or band for securing a furled sail.
New England. a child's apron or pinafore.

Origin of tier

First recorded in 1625–35; tie + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for tier

British Dictionary definitions for tier (1 of 2)

/ (tɪə) /


one of a set of rows placed one above and behind the other, such as theatre seats
  1. a layer or level
  2. (in combination)a three-tier cake
a rank, order, or row


to be or arrange in tiers

Word Origin for tier

C16: from Old French tire rank, of Germanic origin; compare Old English tīr embellishment

British Dictionary definitions for tier (2 of 2)

/ (ˈtaɪə) /


a person or thing that ties
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