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noun \ˈtī\

Simple Definition of tie

  • : a piece of string, ribbon, cord, etc., that is used for fastening, joining, or closing something

  • : something (such as an idea, interest, experience, or feeling) that is shared by people or groups and that forms a connection between them

  • : a responsibility that limits a person's freedom to do other things

Full Definition of tie

  1. 1a :  a line, ribbon, or cord used for fastening, uniting, or drawing something closed; especially :  shoelaceb (1) :  a structural element (as a rod or angle iron) holding two pieces together :  a tension member in a construction (2) :  any of the transverse supports to which railroad rails are fastened to keep them in line

  2. 2 :  something that serves as a connecting link: asa :  a moral or legal obligation to someone or something typically constituting a restraining power, influence, or dutyb :  a bond of kinship or affection

  3. 3 :  a curved line that joins two musical notes of the same pitch to denote a single tone sustained through the time value of the two

  4. 4a :  an equality in number (as of votes or scores)b :  equality in a contest; also :  a contest that ends in a draw

  5. 5 :  a method or style of tying or knotting

  6. 6 :  something that is knotted or is to be knotted when worn: asa :  necktieb :  a low laced shoe :  oxford

tie·less play \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of tie

  1. He was wearing a suit and tie.

  2. You have a spot on your tie.

  3. The pants have a tie at the top.

  4. He was not ready to accept the ties of family life.

Origin of tie

Middle English teg, tye, from Old English tēag; akin to Old Norse taug rope, Old English tēon to pull — more at tow

First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Railroad Terms




Simple Definition of tie

  • : to attach (someone or something) to something with a string, rope, etc.

  • : to pass (something, such as a string, ribbon, or rope) around itself in a way that attaches it to something or holds it in place : to make a knot or bow in (something)

  • : to close or hold (something) with a string, rope, etc., that is attached to it or wrapped around it

Full Definition of tie

tiedty·ing play \ˈtī-iŋ\ or tie·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  to fasten, attach, or close by means of a tieb :  to form a knot or bow in <tie your scarf>c :  to make by tying constituent elements <tied a wreath> <tie a fishing fly>

  3. 2a :  to place or establish in relationship :  connectb :  to unite in marriagec :  to unite (musical notes) by a tied :  to join (power systems) electrically

  4. 3 :  to restrain from independence or freedom of action or choice :  constrain by or as if by authority, influence, agreement, or obligation

  5. 4a (1) :  to make or have an equal score with in a contest (2) :  to equalize (the score) in a game or contest (3) :  to equalize the score of (a game)b :  to provide or offer something equal to :  equal

  6. intransitive verb
  7. :  to make a tie: asa :  to make a bond or connectionb :  to make an equal scorec :  to become attachedd :  to close by means of a tie

tie into
  1. :  to attack with vigor

tie one on


  1. :  to get drunk

tie the knot
  1. :  to perform a marriage ceremony; also :  to get married

Examples of tie

  1. His kidnappers tied him to a chair.

  2. She tied a scarf around her neck.

  3. She tied knots in the rope.

  4. You need to tie your shoe.

  5. His hands and feet had been tied together.

  6. She tied the apron loosely around her waist.

  7. The team still has a chance to tie.

  8. I had the lead but he tied me by making a birdie on the last hole.

  9. Her time tied the world record.

  10. He tied the school's record in the high jump.

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of tie

before 12th century

Seen and Heard

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February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

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