till


till
until, till
1. Till is not a shortened form of until but is the older word; the un- of until adds the element ‘up to, as far as’. The two words can both be used as prepositions (e.g. until/till tomorrow) or conjunctions (e.g. until/till we reach home) They are largely interchangeable, except that until is more usual at the beginning of a sentence and can sound somewhat more formal, especially in speech:

• He didn't ask any more questions but he kept himself awake till Noreen came home —Ann Pilling, 1987

• Until he got Jackson's note he had been convinced that the man was suffering from some sort of regular illness —C. Horrie et al., 1988

• They say they don't trust him, until he looks them in the eye —Scotland on Sunday, 2004.

2. Up until and up till are needless variants in which the word up is usually redundant and (especially with until) awkward: The fast-growing food-supplement market, in particular that for vitamins, which up till now [read: till now or up to now]

• has largely remained in the hands of smaller companies —Ecologist, 2001

My dad had a stammer up until he was 18 [read: until he was 18 or up to the age of 18] —London Review of Books, 2003.

3. See also unless and until.
4. Until such time as can be effective in emphasizing uncertainty about the outcome, but it should not be made to serve as a more verbose alternative to the simple word until:

• Such noisy groups of youngsters…need to be broken down into smaller groups each controlled by a responsible competent leader or instructor until such time as they become mature canoeists —Canoeist, 1991.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Till — Till, prep. [OE. til, Icel. til; akin to Dan. til, Sw. till, OFries. til, also to AS. til good, excellent, G. ziel end, limit, object, OHG. zil, Goth. tils, gatils, fit, convenient, and E. till to cultivate. See {Till}, v. t.] To; unto; up to; as …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Till — Till, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Tilled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Tilling}.] [OE. tilen, tilien, AS. tilian, teolian, to aim, strive for, till; akin to OS. tilian to get, D. telen to propagate, G. zielen to aim, ziel an end, object, and perhaps also to E.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Till — Till, conj. As far as; up to the place or degree that; especially, up to the time that; that is, to the time specified in the sentence or clause following; until. [1913 Webster] And said unto them, Occupy till I come. Luke xix. 13. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Till — ist Till (Name), siehe dort für Etymologie und Namensträger Till (Fluss), einen Fluss in der Grafschaft Northumberland, England Till Moyland, einen Ortsteil der Gemeinde Bedburg Hau in Nordrhein Westfalen Till Eulenspiegel, Titelheld eines… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • till — ● till nom masculin (anglais till) Dépôt morainique non consolidé. till [til] n. m., ou tillite [tilit] n. f. ÉTYM. 1893, till; tillite, XXe; en angl., 1918; mot angl. d Écosse, d orig. inconnue. ❖ …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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  • Till — Till, n. [Properly, a drawer, from OE. tillen to draw. See {Tiller} the lever of a rudder.] A drawer. Specifically: (a) A tray or drawer in a chest. (b) A money drawer in a shop or store. [1913 Webster] {Till alarm}, a device for sounding an… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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