teth·​er | \ ˈte-t͟hər How to pronounce tether (audio) \

Definition of tether

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a line (as of rope or chain) by which an animal is fastened so as to restrict its range of movement
b : a line to which someone or something is attached (as for security) A crewman can clip the tether of his harness to the [safety line] and leave it clipped as he makes his way forward and aft.— Michael A. Smith
2 : the limit of one's strength or resources I'm at the end of my tether.


tethered; tethering\ ˈte-​t͟h(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce tether (audio) \

Definition of tether (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to fasten or restrain by or as if by a tether felt tethered to her desk until the work was done

Examples of tether in a Sentence

Verb They tethered the horses in the shade. The dog was tethered to the fence.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Backcountry campers and hikers may want to keep an eye toward light, compact hatchets that pack easily into a backpack or tether to a belt. Mike Richard, Men's Health, 18 Apr. 2022 Bella's story starts in Saginaw Country, Michigan, where a postal worker found the pit bull terrier painfully tangled up in her tether in a yard with no food, water, or shelter. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, 4 Apr. 2022 This screenshot from a DroneUp video shows the drone lowering a package using a long tether. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, 19 Apr. 2022 Flying perpendicular to the direction of the wind, their wings generate lift and pull even harder against the tether. Kurt Kleiner, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Apr. 2022 Before her rescue, Bella chewed her back leg off at the thigh while trying to escape the tether she was stuck in. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, 4 Apr. 2022 The value of the three largest stablecoins—tether, USD Coin and Binance USD—is about $100 billion, up from about $11 billion a year ago. Paul Vigna, WSJ, 17 July 2021 Bottom seat anchors are easy to find, while lifting up the headrest gives you access to the top tether points, making fitting a child seat an easy feat. Kyle Edward, Forbes, 19 Mar. 2022 The difference is that traditionally edge computing has demanded a tether, no matter how thin or constant, with a central server. Ravi Mayuram, Forbes, 27 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Some pumps don't tether you to an outlet but still have a wire connecting the pump to a mobile power source, like the Freemie. Jamie Spain, Good Housekeeping, 16 May 2022 The goal is certainly ambitious since current VR headsets can have a variety of limitations, including short battery life or a need to tether themselves to a PC. Michael Kan, PCMAG, 28 Apr. 2022 This is actually pretty cool and a good option for anyone who can’t tether their pup to a tree. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, 15 Aug. 2014 Yet, impactful microinteractions that tether together a unique user journey, demonstrates the power of design in details. Goran Paun, Forbes, 28 Jan. 2022 To tether the events, Ryan Seacrest will co-host the 50th annual Times Square countdown with Lisa Koshy. Kelly Wynne, PEOPLE.com, 7 Dec. 2021 But being able to tether to your PC opens the door for even more. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 24 Nov. 2021 And finally, some people tether because their dads and granddads did, too. Gene Weingarten, Washington Post, 8 Nov. 2021 The rise of a Black gang led by Harold McBrayer (Leslie Odom Jr.), an associate of Dickie’s, challenges the family’s hold on the neighborhood, but again, there’s not enough time to tether the worlds in a cohesive story. Lorraine Ali Television Critic, Los Angeles Times, 30 Sep. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of tether


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tether


Middle English tethir, teder, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse tjōthr tether; akin to Old High German zeotar pole of a wagon

Learn More About tether

Time Traveler for tether

Time Traveler

The first known use of tether was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near tether




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for tether

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tether.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tether. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for tether


teth·​er | \ ˈte-t͟hər \
tethered; tethering

Kids Definition of tether

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to fasten by a line that limits range of movement



Kids Definition of tether (Entry 2 of 2)

: a line by which something is fastened so as to limit where it can go


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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