\ ˈtīd How to pronounce tide (audio) \

Definition of tide

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a(1) : the alternate rising and falling of the surface of the ocean and of water bodies (such as gulfs and bays) connected with the ocean that occurs usually twice a day and is the result of differing gravitational forces exerted at different parts of the earth by another body (such as the moon or sun)
(2) : a less marked rising and falling of an inland body of water
(3) : a periodic movement in the earth's crust caused by the same forces that produce ocean tides
(4) : a periodic distortion on one celestial body caused by the gravitational attraction of another
(5) : one of the periodic movements of the atmosphere resembling those of the ocean and produced by gravitation or diurnal temperature changes
2a : something that fluctuates like the tides of the sea the tide of public opinion
b : a large and increasing quantity or volume a tide of opportunists a swelling tide of criticism
3a : a flowing stream : current
b : the waters of the ocean
c : the overflow of a flooding stream
4a : a fit or opportune time : opportunity
b : an ecclesiastical anniversary or festival also : its season usually used in combination Eastertide
c obsolete : a space of time : period


verb (1)
tided; tiding

Definition of tide (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to flow as or in a tide : surge

transitive verb

: to cause to float with or as if with the tide


verb (2)
tided; tiding

Definition of tide (Entry 3 of 3)

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Other Words from tide


tideless \ ˈtīd-​ləs How to pronounce tide (audio) \ adjective

Examples of tide in a Sentence

Noun a chart of the tides The boat got swept away in the tide.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Wilmington tide gauge is located upstream in the Cape Fear River, 29 miles from the mouth of the estuary. Eric Niiler, Wired, "The Tide Is High–and Getting Higher," 8 Mar. 2021 Drone video shot afterward showed a wide section of the cliff sheared off from the railroad level to the beach, leaving a pile of sandstone and rubble at the high-tide line. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Repairs needed after bluff collapse threatens tracks," 1 Mar. 2021 But the tide change in Washington, D.C., is about more than a new president. Kristen Leigh Painter, Star Tribune, "Minnesota, Wisconsin organic dairy farmers hope to regain ground with Biden administration," 4 Dec. 2020 On Sundays in fifth grade, my friend and I would ride to Royal Palms, explore the tide pools looking for hermit crabs, marvel at the surfers and throw rocks into the surf. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, "Essential California: Becerra goes to Washington," 19 Mar. 2021 The campground sits on a bluff above the water, and there are tide pools and plenty of hiking, surfing, biking, and kayaking spots to be explored. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, "9 Most Beautiful RV Campgrounds in the U.S., According to Experts," 8 Mar. 2021 French health authorities recommended the further easing of restrictions on a vaccine deemed crucial for turning the tide of the pandemic, while Belgium’s faster-moving vaccine campaigns showed signs of reducing deaths in the country. WSJ, "Covid-19 Live Updates: New U.S. Cases Ease, but Deaths Tick Higher," 3 Mar. 2021 On the other hand, President Biden won the presidency by promising to push back against this tide of outrage, perhaps offering hope of breaking the cycle. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "The Perpetual Outrage Machine Churns On," 8 Mar. 2021 Program officials continue to struggle against a tide of F-35 design flaws. David Axe, Forbes, "After 20 Years, The F-35 Stealth Fighter Is Still Stuck In Testing," 25 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Twenty-one senators — all Democrats — signed a March 30 letter to Mr. Biden in support of recurring stimulus payments, pointing out that the $1,400 payment being distributed by the IRS won't tide people over for long. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "What's behind the push for a fourth stimulus check," 8 Apr. 2021 If this isn't enough to tide you over to the Friends reunion, fear not, as there's still plenty of products from the first collection in stock too. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "Friends and Revolution Beauty Dropped Another Makeup Collab," 1 Apr. 2021 This is only the beginning of life after Thanos, and WandaVision just set the stage for a sprawling intergalactic, inter-dimensional adventure to tide us over for the next few years. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "So…What’s Next For The MCU After WandaVision?," 5 Mar. 2021 Many fans who can afford it, believe the money can help the club tide itself over during a period of uncertainty and prefer to use it as credit against future purchases. Steve Mccaskill, Forbes, "Hibernian Fans Can Earn Their Club Money By Watching Videos On Recast," 26 Feb. 2021 Thane added that people who were laid off during the pandemic but expect to be rehired within a few months might also choose a mini-COBRA to tide them over. Fortune, "Only 6 states lack COBRA-like benefits for laid-off small-business employees. That soon may change in Montana," 19 Mar. 2021 Small businesses like 1767, while short of resources to tide them over a problem period, are generally agile enough to flip operations. Roger Trapp, Forbes, "Why Reinvention, Not Change, Is The New Game In Town," 12 Mar. 2021 Melanie Wolovich, 45, started a GoFundMe, raising $31,000 — just enough to tide them over to a Feb. 5 reopening, after the coronavirus surge in Southern California eased and restrictions on zoos lifted. Los Angeles Times, "Montebello petting zoo reopens — minus the petting," 8 Mar. 2021 While The Bachelor continues to deal with an astonishing racial reckoning around Matt James’s season, here’s something petty to tide us over until his inevitable breakup. Devon Ivie, Vulture, "Meanwhile, Clare and Dale Are Really Selling Their Reconciliation," 23 Feb. 2021

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

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First Known Use of tide


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4c

Verb (1)

1593, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Verb (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tide


Middle English, time, from Old English tīd; akin to Old High German zīt time and perhaps to Greek daiesthai to divide

Verb (2)

Middle English, from Old English tīdan; akin to Middle Dutch tiden to go, come, Old English tīd time

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Time Traveler for tide

Time Traveler

The first known use of tide was before the 12th century

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Statistics for tide

Last Updated

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tide.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tide. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for tide



English Language Learners Definition of tide

: the regular upward and downward movement of the level of the ocean that is caused by the pull of the Sun and the Moon on the Earth
: the flow of the ocean's water as the tide rises or falls
: the way in which something is changing or developing


\ ˈtīd How to pronounce tide (audio) \

Kids Definition of tide

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the rising and falling of the surface of the ocean caused twice daily by the attraction of the sun and the moon
2 : something that rises and falls or rushes in a mass The tide of public opinion often changes.


tided; tiding

Kids Definition of tide (Entry 2 of 2)

: to help to overcome or put up with a difficulty A snack will tide me over until dinner.


\ ˈtīd How to pronounce tide (audio) \

Medical Definition of tide

: a temporary increase or decrease in a specified substance or quality in the body or one of its systems a postprandial alkaline tide, the typical rise in urinary pH associated with gastric acid secretion— E. J. Jacobson & Gerhard Fuchs

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