\ ˈhī How to pronounce hie (audio) \
hied; hying or hieing

Definition of hie

intransitive verb

: to go quickly : hasten thither we advise you to hieNew Yorker

transitive verb

: to cause (oneself) to go quickly hie you to church— William Shakespeare

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Hie Isn't a Word of the Past

Hie has been part of English since the 12th century, and it stems from the even hoarier hīgian, an Old English word meaning "to strive" or "to hasten." Hie enjoyed a high popularity period from the 16th to the 19th centuries, and you're sure to encounter it in the literature of those times—writers from Shakespeare to Twain penned it into their prose. But don't get the idea that hie is just a word of the past; it regularly pops up in current publications as well—often, though not always, in contexts in which the author is wanting to approximate an old-timey way of communicating.

Examples of hie in a Sentence

we had best hie home before the snow gets worse

Recent Examples on the Web

Such shows—in major museums in major cities—are perfect for the summer, when much of the art world has hied off to beaches and country houses, but when regular-folk tourists arrive in droves. Peter Plagens, WSJ, "‘Artistic License: Six Takes on the Guggenheim Collection’ Review: An Artist-Led Sampler," 8 June 2019

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

First Known Use of hie

12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for hie

Middle English, from Old English hīgian to strive, hasten

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Dictionary Entries near hie

hiding power







Statistics for hie

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hie

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on hie

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hie

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hie

Comments on hie

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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