abide

verb
\ ə-ˈbīd How to pronounce abide (audio) \
abided also abode\ ə-​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 Bars, casinos and exhibitions in the cities will close while restaurants, cinemas and museums have to abide by stricter health rules starting Monday. Geraldine Amiel, Bloomberg.com, "France Must Avoid General Lockdown by All Means, Castex Says," 12 Oct. 2020 If passed into law as largely expected, the new requirements will mean social media users in the small mountainous African country have to abide by strict guidelines and regulations governing broadcast media. Tawanda Karombo, Quartz Africa, "More African governments are quietly tightening rules and laws on social media," 12 Oct. 2020 Child care centers have to abide by public health guidelines meant to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Nyamekye Daniel, Washington Examiner, "North Carolina child care programs to get $35M in state grants," 7 Oct. 2020 Since the coronavirus emerged earlier this year, Trump has refused to abide by basic public health guidelines — including those issued by his own administration — such as wearing face coverings in public and practicing social distancing. Arkansas Online, "Trump, first lady positive for virus; he has 'mild symptoms'," 2 Oct. 2020 Since the coronavirus emerged earlier this year, Trump has refused to abide by basic public health guidelines — including those issued by his own administration — such as wearing face coverings in public and practicing social distancing. The Associated Press, NOLA.com, "President Trump, first lady experiencing 'mild symptoms' after coronavirus diagnosis," 2 Oct. 2020 Anoka Halloween has canceled events like the wine tasting and all-class reunion because organizers have to abide by state health guidelines of crowds less than 250 people. Kim Hyatt, Star Tribune, "Anoka's centennial Halloween celebration is on, with a pandemic twist," 1 Oct. 2020 Anyone looking to dine in a restaurant should consider making reservations in advance as seating is limited as restaurants have to abide by social distancing between tables. Cailey Rizzo, Travel + Leisure, "Panama Is Reopening for International Visitors in October," 30 Sep. 2020 Under his bail conditions, Li could not return to the area where he was arrested and had to abide by a curfew. Washington Post, "‘You’re still my baby’: Hong Kong mother pleas for son held in mainland China after desperate boat escape," 27 Sep. 2020

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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Learn More about abide

Time Traveler for abide

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for abide

Last Updated

25 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Abide.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abide. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for abide

abide

verb
How to pronounce abide (audio)

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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Comments on abide

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