Definition of abide
abodeplay \-ˈbōd\ or
2 : to wait for : await I will abide the coming of my lord. — Alfred Tennyson
3 : to accept without objection will abide your decision
1 : to remain stable or fixed in a state a love that abode with him all his days
2 : to continue in a place : sojourn will abide in the house of the Lord
1 : to conform to abide by the rules
2 : to accept without objection : to acquiesce in will abide by your decision
abide was our Word of the Day on 10/21/2012. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
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
Recent Examples of abide from the Web
However, a judge is the last line of defense for law abiding citizens.
Episode 8 of Twin Peaks then, is an experimental horror film, one that's nigh-impossible to parse but also appears to abide by the logic that the rest of the show is probably adhering to.
The nature of faith and faith in nature intertwine throughout Perry’s novel, which has an abiding respect for friendship and a deep humanity.
What is the moral duty of the CFOs here to abide by that rule?
Though most participants abided by her request, the ever-expanding party was beyond her control, with some trash, costume remnants, spent fireworks and even boats discarded after the event.
Its leaders insist that nations should abide by the Paris agreement, despite the decision by President Trump to withdraw the United States, historically the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, from the accord.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says his state will continue to abide by the Paris climate accord regardless of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the landmark 190-nation agreement to reduce carbon emissions.
The president has delayed his decision for months on whether to abide by the agreement reached in 2015 by almost 200 nations.
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.
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").
Origin and Etymology of 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 1out, bide
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of abide
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
ABIDE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of abide for English Language Learners
: to accept or bear (someone or something bad, unpleasant, etc.)
: to stay or live somewhere
: to remain or continue
ABIDE Defined for Kids
Definition of abide for Students
: to accept the terms of : obey She was forced to abide by the rules.
Legal Definition of abide
: to accept without objection
: to act or behave in accordance with or in obedience to
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up abide? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).