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 betidewoe betide our enemies

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Examples of betide in a Sentence

we will be happy in our new home, whatever may betide
Recent Examples on the Web 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, "The state government is here to help slow progress," 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, "The Robust Preciousness of Labour and Wait," 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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Time Traveler for betide

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for betide

Cite this Entry

“Betide.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on betide

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for betide

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with betide

Comments on betide

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a plan in which a last survivor takes all

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