being or arranged in tiers or layers (usually used in combination): a two-tiered box of chocolates.

Origin of tiered

First recorded in 1800–10; tier1 + -ed3
Related formsmul·ti·tiered, adjectiveun·tiered, adjective




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.

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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tiered

Contemporary Examples of tiered

Historical Examples of tiered

  • The tiered walls of logs arose to the sighs and groans of the Nulato Indians.

    Lost Face

    Jack London

  • She rose and, lighting the wick at the wavering crown of tiered tapers, placed it so that it dominated all the rest.

  • Now, it was the proudly an tiered stag, careering free over miles and miles of waste.

    Confessions Of Con Cregan

    Charles James Lever

  • Brittain stepped down the tiered floor and took a rear seat near a frightened-looking blonde girl.

    Instant of Decision

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • On a platform opposite, paralleling the tracks, were tiered cotton bales, shining white in the furnace lights.

British Dictionary definitions for tiered




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




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

Word Origin and History for tiered



"row, rank, range," 1560s, from Middle French tire, from Old French tire "rank, sequence, order" (early 13c.), probably from tirer "to draw, draw out" (see tirade). Some suggests the French noun is from a Germanic source akin to Old High German ziari, German Zier "adornment," Old English tir "glory, honor."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper