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

n the careful juxtaposition of shapes in a pattern

“a tessellation of hexagons”
Type of:
apposition, collocation, juxtaposition
the act of positioning close together (or side by side)

n the act of adorning with mosaic

Type of:
the act of decorating something (in the hope of making it more attractive)

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