bode ˈbōd How to pronounce bide (audio) or bided; bided; biding

transitive verb

past tense usually bided : to wait for
used chiefly in the phrase bide one's time
is biding his time before asking for a raise
archaic : withstand
two men … might bide the winter stormW. C. Bryant
chiefly dialectal : to put up with : tolerate
… couldn't bide children on his place …J. W. Riley

intransitive verb

: to continue in a state or condition
bide still a moment
: to wait awhile : tarry
: to continue in a place : sojourn
bide in a cabin
bider noun

Examples of bide in a Sentence

how long are you going to bide in this unhappy marriage? at my advanced age I simply cannot bide young children
Recent Examples on the Web Up to this point, Rojas was biding his time, anxious and alert in his first varsity season. Patrick Z. McGavin, Chicago Tribune, 11 Sep. 2023 Anthony Ruggiero, senior director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies' Nonproliferation and Biodefense Program and the former deputy assistant to the president for national security affairs, said North Korea may just be biding its time. Shannon K. Crawford, ABC News, 21 July 2023 Norby is far from the only prospect biding his time in the minors. Jacob Calvin Meyer, Baltimore Sun, 15 Aug. 2023 But investors mostly bided their time for another session ahead of important inflation data. WSJ, 12 July 2023 Similarly, Cranny bided her time through most of the women’s 10,000 meters, then struck on the last lap. oregonlive, 6 July 2023 Liam is the sort of character who bides his time, waiting for his chance. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 3 July 2023 Xi did nothing except to ingratiate himself within the existing Party, bide his time, and move his way strategically through its bureaucracy with uncanny skill. Stephen R. Platt,, 8 June 2023 In his first scene, Tom buys Logan a watch for his birthday; a sign of the man biding his time. Josh Wigler, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bide.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English biden "to stay, linger, wait expectantly, hope for, undergo," going back to Old English bīdan, past bād, bidon, past participle biden, going back to Germanic *bīðan- (whence also Old Saxon bīdan "to wait, stand ready, hold out," Old High German bītan "to wait, expect," Old Norse bíða "to wait for, suffer, undergo," Gothic beidan "to wait for, endure"), perhaps going back to Indo-European *bhei̯d- "entrust, trust" — more at faith entry 1

Note: The argument has been made, most notably by Émile Benveniste (Le vocabulaire des institutions indo-européennes, Paris, 1969, tome 1, pp. 119-20), that in Germanic an older sense "place one's trust in something" developed into "expect with confidence, wait for" and then "undergo, endure"—though this hypothesis has not been universally accepted.

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bide was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near bide

Cite this Entry

“Bide.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


bode ˈbōd How to pronounce bide (audio) or bided; bided; biding
: to wait or wait for
bided his time before acting

More from Merriam-Webster on bide

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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