- noun a boulder clay soil mixed with rocks of different sizes, found in glacial deposits
- noun a drawer for keeping cash in a shop
- verb to prepare the soil, especially by digging or ploughing, to make it ready for the cultivation of crops
- An unstratified glacial deposit consisting of compacted pockets of clay, silt, sand, gravel, and boulders, usually having good bearing capacity. See also glacial till, boulder clay.
Origin & History of “till”
English has three distinct words till, but two of them are probably related. The etymological notion underlying till ‘cultivate the soil’ (OE) is of ‘striving to obtain a goal’. Indeed, that is what its Old English ancestor tilian originally meant; ‘cultivate’ is a late Old English development, via an intermediate ‘labour’. The verb comes from a prehistoric Germanic *tilōjan, a derivative of the noun *tilam ‘aim, purpose’ (source of German ziel ‘goal’). this passed into Old English as till ‘fixed point’, which seems to have been converted into a preposition meaning ‘up to a particular point (originally in space, but soon also in time)’. The compound until dates from the 13th century; its first element was borrowed from Old Norse *und ‘till’. The origins of till ‘money box’ (15th c.) are uncertain.