tessellation

Tessellation is a mosaic pattern, a design made of shapes fitted together. You could compliment your friend's newly tiled kitchen floor by saying, "What gorgeous tessellation!"

If you imagine a patchwork of tiles, or the patterns in a quilt, you're picturing one kind of tessellation. Another type is mathematical tessellation, which is closely related to the first kind — it's the geometric repetition of one shape over and over again. The Latin root word tessellatus describes something made of small stones or tiles.

Definitions of tessellation
  1. noun
    the careful juxtaposition of shapes in a pattern
    “a tessellation of hexagons”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    apposition, collocation, juxtaposition
    the act of positioning close together (or side by side)
  2. noun
    the act of adorning with mosaic
    see moresee less
    type of:
    decoration
    the act of decorating something (in the hope of making it more attractive)
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$19.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$19.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week