• synonyms


See more synonyms for tiller on Thesaurus.com
  1. a plant shoot that springs from the root or bottom of the original stalk.
  2. a sapling.
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verb (used without object)
  1. (of a plant) to put forth new shoots from the root or around the bottom of the original stalk.
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Origin of tiller3

before 1000; Old English telgor twig, shoot (not recorded in ME); akin to telge rod, Old Norse tjalga branch, telgja to cut
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tillering

Historical Examples

  • How does sub-soiling resemble under-draining in relation to the tillering of grasses?

    The Elements of Agriculture

    George E. Waring

British Dictionary definitions for tillering


  1. nautical a handle fixed to the top of a rudderpost to serve as a lever in steering it
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Derived Formstillerless, adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Anglo-French teiler beam of a loom, from Medieval Latin tēlārium, from Latin tēla web


  1. a shoot that arises from the base of the stem in grasses
  2. a less common name for sapling
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  1. (intr) (of a plant) to produce tillers
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Word Origin

Old English telgor twig; related to Icelandic tjalga branch
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 tillering



mid-14c., "stock of a crossbow," from Old French telier "stock of a crossbow" (c.1200), originally "weaver's beam," from Medieval Latin telarium, from Latin tela "web, loom," from PIE *teks-la-, from root *teks- "to weave" (see texture). Meaning "bar to turn the rudder of a boat" first recorded 1620s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper