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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Voters, perfectly reasonably, cannot abide chaos; governments must set and enforce the rules for who comes. The Economist, "Voters could make the world twice as rich. Why don’t they?," 16 Nov. 2019 President Donald Trump said the U.S. applauds the Bolivian people for demanding freedom and the Bolivian military for abiding by its oath to protect Bolivia’s constitution. Washington Post, "United States: Bolivian president wasn’t forced out by coup," 11 Nov. 2019 Make rules for your friends to abide by: no surprises. Author: Wayne And Wanda, Anchorage Daily News, "Now that my divorce is final, my friends won’t stop trying to set me up with guys," 10 Nov. 2019 Matilda's school life isn't completely smooth sailing, however the school's mean headmistress, Miss Trunchbull (Eris Foutz, sophomore), hates children and just loves thinking up new punishments for those who don't abide by her rules. Sam Boyer, cleveland, "BHS grad awarded the Folds of Honor scholarship: Whit & Whimsey," 8 Nov. 2019 Other breakthrough talents have found their recognition thanks to the West’s abiding appreciation for Asian genre cinema. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, "Meet South Korea's Next Wave of Film Auteurs," 7 Nov. 2019 Email etiquette aside, there are just as many general office etiquette rules to know and abide by. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, "The Most Important Office Etiquette Rules for a Better Workplace," 6 Nov. 2019 Owners of dogs declared dangerous must surrender the animal or abide by strict rules to keep it and pay a $515 annual registration fee. Lisa Maria Garza, orlandosentinel.com, "Orange County declares Ski World Orlando mascot Marley a ‘dangerous’ dog," 6 Nov. 2019 Cutting out the middlemen: Visitors seeking Berber rugs in this Morocco town must abide by one rule: The women run this market. George Stone, National Geographic, "Where can you see the stars?," 5 Nov. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about abide

Time Traveler for abide

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about abide

Statistics for abide

Last Updated

19 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Abide.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abide?show=0&t=1375882695. Accessed 21 November 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on abide

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abide

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with abide

Spanish Central: Translation of abide

Nglish: Translation of abide for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abide for Arabic Speakers

Comments on abide

What made you want to look up abide? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

strength of mind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • pasta resembling wheels with spokes
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!