be·​tide | \ bi-ˈtīd How to pronounce betide (audio) , bē- \
betided; betiding; betides

Definition of betide

intransitive verb

: to happen especially as if by fate

transitive verb

: to happen to : befall used chiefly in the phrase woe betide woe betide our enemies

Examples of betide in a Sentence

we will be happy in our new home, whatever may betide
Recent Examples on the Web Like California itself, so long isolated from the East and Midwest, California fast food was the first fast food, sui generis, and woe betide most interloper chains trying to cross the Rockies and the desert to plant themselves here. Los Angeles Times, 5 Apr. 2022 Woe betide the author who, whether by design or coincidence, must compete with another when their two books cover the same subject on roughly the same publication date. Chris Vognar, Los Angeles Times, 21 Jan. 2022 Woe betide the executive who jumps the queue, as in the case of Mark Machin, a Canadian pension-fund boss who travelled to the United Arab Emirates to get the jab. The Economist, 6 Mar. 2021 Compliance with the agency’s 15-point safety assessment is supposedly voluntary, but woe betide any company that fails to file the proper paperwork. Orange County Register, 11 Feb. 2017 Like slow food, progressive politics, and nontoxic cleaning supplies, the lost art of correspondence is an unalterable part of this aesthetic, and woe betide the airy Web site that fails to stock a Kaweco fountain pen. Sadie Stein, The New Yorker, 1 Mar. 2017

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

First Known Use of betide

12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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The first known use of betide was in the 12th century

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Last Updated

12 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Betide.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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