abide

verb
\ ə-ˈbīd How to pronounce abide (audio) \
abided also abode\ -​ˈbōd How to pronounce abode (audio) \; abiding

Definition of abide

transitive verb

1a : to bear patiently : tolerate cannot abide such bigots
b : to endure without yielding : withstand abide the onrush of the enemy
2 : to wait for : await I will abide the coming of my lord.— Alfred Tennyson
3 : to accept without objection will abide your decision

intransitive verb

1 : to remain stable or fixed in a state a love that abided with him all his days
2 : to continue in a place : sojourn will abide in the house of the Lord
abide by
1 : to conform to abide by the rules
2 : to accept without objection : to acquiesce in will abide by your decision

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Other Words from abide

abider noun

Choose the Right Synonym for abide

bear, suffer, endure, abide, tolerate, stand mean to put up with something trying or painful. bear usually implies the power to sustain without flinching or breaking. forced to bear a tragic loss suffer often suggests acceptance or passivity rather than courage or patience in bearing. suffering many insults endure implies continuing firm or resolute through trials and difficulties. endured years of rejection abide suggests acceptance without resistance or protest. cannot abide their rudeness tolerate suggests overcoming or successfully controlling an impulse to resist, avoid, or resent something injurious or distasteful. refused to tolerate such treatment stand emphasizes even more strongly the ability to bear without discomposure or flinching. unable to stand teasing

continue, last, endure, abide, persist mean to exist over a period of time or indefinitely. continue applies to a process going on without ending. the search for peace will continue last, especially when unqualified, may stress existing beyond what is normal or expected. buy shoes that will last endure adds an implication of resisting destructive forces or agencies. in spite of everything, her faith endured abide implies stable and constant existing especially as opposed to mutability. a love that abides through 40 years of marriage persist suggests outlasting the normal or appointed time and often connotes obstinacy or doggedness. the sense of guilt persisted

The Use of Abide in Literature and Popular Culture

The comments by users of this dictionary suggest that many people who are interested in the meaning of the word abide are motivated by one of two rather distinct things: the Bible, in which, for instance, Jesus calls upon his followers to "abide in me"; and the movie The Big Lebowski, in which Jeffrey Lebowski (aka "The Dude") proclaims that "The Dude abides." Both the movie and the book have done much to keep the word in general current usage. Though the sources are wildly different, in each of these particular examples, abide is used as it is defined at the first intransitive sense: "to remain stable or fixed in a state." In the phrase "abide in me," Jesus is asking his followers to stay constant in their relationship to him. The exact meaning of "The Dude abides" is a topic of some debate, but clearly there is some notion of the constancy of Lebowski himself—metaphysically perhaps—being asserted.

Although the phrase can’t abide has for some the feeling of a modern colloquialism, it has been pointed out that such use dates back at least as far as Shakespeare: in Henry IV, Part II, Falstaff says “she would always say she could not abide Master Shallow.”

Did You Know?

Abide may sound rather old-fashioned these days. The word has been around since before the 12th century, but it is a bit rare now, except in certain specialized uses. Even more archaic to our modern ear is "abidden," the original past participle of "abide." Today, both the past and the past participle of "abide" are served by either "abode" or "abided," with "abided" being the more frequent choice. "Abide" turns up often in the phrase "can't (or couldn't) abide." The expression "abide by," which means "to conform to" or "to acquiesce in," is also common. Related terms include the participial adjective "abiding" (which means "enduring" or "continuing," as in "an abiding interest in nature"), the noun "abidance" ("continuance" or "compliance"), and the noun "abode" ("residence").

Examples of abide in a Sentence

Now his anger had poisoned all relationships, no one could be put in the two empty beds in the room, and not even his long-suffering sister could abide him in her house. — Peter Pouncey, Rules for Old Men Waiting, 2005 A former party functionary, Yeltsin replaced Communist ideology with a supremely simplified vision of democracy, which boiled down to two tenets: He could not abide Communists, and he supported freedom of the press. — Masha Gessen, New Republic, 5 June 2000 abide in the house of the Lord a love that abided till the end of their lives
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Recent Examples on the Web

Photo: Steve Mellon/Associated Press Opponents say the changes would impinge on the rights of law-abiding citizens and wouldn’t make the city safer. Kris Maher, WSJ, "After Synagogue Attack, Pittsburgh’s Push for Stricter Gun Laws Sparks Backlash," 11 Feb. 2019 Studies show the vast majority are law abiding and commit fewer crimes, on average, than U.S. citizens. Jazmine Ulloa, latimes.com, "Painful scenes of child separations force a rare retreat from the White House," 20 June 2018 Several lawmakers argued enacting the law on Oct. 1 would not give owners of bump stocks in Connecticut enough time to learn about the new law and would turn law abiding citizens into felons. Sandra Gomez-aceves, courant.com, "House Approves Bill Banning Bump Stocks; Legislation Heads To Senate," 2 May 2018 Now that Republicans have largely discarded the blue-slip tradition for federal appellate judges, there’s no reason why Democrats should abide by it. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Do the Democrats Even Want Power?," 20 June 2018 Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for the couple's ethics lawyer Abbe Lowell, said Trump and Kushner are abiding by government ethics rules. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner income tops at least $81 million last year," 11 June 2018 The state Department of Audits and Accounts released a report that found costly errors by college officials in running programs and abiding by policies and procedures. Eric Stirgus, ajc, "Georgia Piedmont Tech to cut several high-ranking positions," 1 June 2018 The judge reiterated that the Trump administration must abide by the order, which also requires the remainder of the migrant children, nearly 3000, be reunited with their families by July 26. Daniel González, azcentral, "Feds say 34 immigrant children to be reunited with parents; no timetable for others," 10 July 2018 But in its deeper moments, the book touches on an abiding, but easily forgotten, truth: Disappearing, the act of losing our selves, is a precondition of selflessness. John Kaag, WSJ, "‘How to Disappear’ Review: The Unseen Virtues," 22 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abide.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of abide

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

History and Etymology for abide

Middle English abiden, going back to Old English abīdan, from a-, perfective prefix + bīdan "to bide, wait"; a- (also ā-, ǣ- under stress in nominal derivatives) akin to Old Frisian a-, perfective prefix, Old Saxon ā-, ō- (unstressed a-) and probably to Old English or- "outward, extreme, lacking (in nominal compounds)," Old Frisian & Old Saxon ur-, or-, Old High German ar-, ir-, er- unstressed inchoative verb prefix, ur "out of, away from," Old Norse ūr-, ör-, "out of, from," ør-, privative prefix, Gothic us- "out of," us-, privative and perfective prefix; if from pre-Germanic *ud-s- akin to Old English ūt "out" — more at out entry 1, bide

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Dictionary Entries near abide

ABI

Abib

abidance

abide

abiding

Abidjan

à bientôt

Statistics for abide

Last Updated

9 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for abide

The first known use of abide was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for abide

abide

verb

English Language Learners Definition of abide

: to accept or bear (someone or something bad, unpleasant, etc.)
: to stay or live somewhere
: to remain or continue

abide

verb
\ ə-ˈbīd How to pronounce abide (audio) \
abode\ -​ˈbōd \ or abided; abiding

Kids Definition of abide

1 : to put up with patiently : tolerate They won't abide bad behavior.
2 : last entry 1 sense 1, endure His love for his work abided until he died.
3 : to stay or live in a place … I shall abide near her all through the night.— E. B. White, The Trumpet of the Swan
abide by
: to accept the terms of : obey She was forced to abide by the rules.
abode or abided; abiding

Legal Definition of abide

: to accept without objection
abide by
: to act or behave in accordance with or in obedience to

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More from Merriam-Webster on abide

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with abide

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abide

Spanish Central: Translation of abide

Nglish: Translation of abide for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abide for Arabic Speakers

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