\ 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)

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 Those open to seeing where the tide takes them, though, will find much to like. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 May 2022 How decisively the operation turned the Allied tide against Nazi Germany is up for historical debate. Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, 11 May 2022 The gravest risk, of course, is that a Russian military that is either failing or hopelessly bogged down in Ukraine would turn to a nuclear strike—perhaps with a small-scale tactical nuclear weapon—to reverse the tide. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, 9 May 2022 The tide slorped in as well, carrying actual, real, large dead fish. The Editors, Outside Online, 9 May 2022 Because female trilobites also probably practiced external fertilization, emitting their eggs into the swirling tide for males to fertilize, the Olenoides trilobites may have used clasping appendages in the same way. New York Times, 6 May 2022 In an attempt to stem this militant tide, President Bill Clinton signed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act in 1994. Garnet Henderson, ELLE, 6 May 2022 Barely touched on is how countries like France and Sweden came to buck the general tide by increasing their nuclear power capacities. Dennis Harvey, Variety, 4 May 2022 But even if all that allows the Ukrainians to turn the battlefield tide, there’s not yet a clear idea of what would constitute the kind of victory – and Russian defeat – the allies are hoping for. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, 4 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Biden administration had estimated its original request would tide the Ukrainians over for about five months. W. James Antle Iii, The Week, 12 May 2022 Here's forecast of Round 2 to tide you over until the Bucs go on the clock. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 30 Apr. 2022 Thankfully, season 4 should be epic enough to tide us over until then. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 12 Apr. 2022 Check out these events around Menomonee Falls to tide you over this spring until warm weather arrives. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 23 Mar. 2022 The Let Go have offered a piece of charming rhythmic pop in honor of the artist to tide us over. Jason Lipshutz, Billboard, 21 Mar. 2022 Someone offered me a vial of insulin to tide me over. Alina Bills, STAT, 5 Mar. 2022 If that won’t tide you over, here are 7 more free Roku channels worth checking out. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 26 Feb. 2022 But if this news has whetted your appetite, there are plenty of Great Expectations adaptations out there to tide you over. Emma Dibdin, Town & Country, 18 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About tide

Time Traveler for tide

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near tide



tide boat

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Statistics for tide

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tide.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tide. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for tide


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on tide

Nglish: Translation of tide for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tide for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tide


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