\ˈtīd \

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

b : flood tide sense 1

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 \ adjective

Examples of tide in a Sentence


a chart of the tides The boat got swept away in the tide.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But the market tides still rolled in, and GM executives have learned that staying competitive is necessary to avoid another collapse. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trump’s GM Collision," 27 Nov. 2018 But mostly, American Gods seems content to just show off all the returning players from season one, which will have to suffice as a tide me over for fans for now. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "A storm is coming in American Gods’ new season two trailer," 5 Oct. 2018 There must’ve been a storm or something freaky going on with the tides, because Pemaquid Harbor is clogged with floating detritus—sea weed, branches, kelp. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Testing the Yamaha 210 FSH: The Boat That Blew Up the Formula," 31 Aug. 2018 This new house feels as if it's been watching the tide for a century. Hillary Brown, House Beautiful, "This New Home Feels Nostalgic In The Best Way," 30 Aug. 2018 The stage is perfectly lit, and Patrick moves around it like the tides. Longreads, "Tennis vs. Tennis," 13 July 2018 Yankeetown has used the designation to protect natural habitats that can provide a measure of protection from rising tides. Amy Green, miamiherald, "With Gov. Scott and legislature in denial, tiny town adapts on its own to climate change," 11 July 2018 With Midland and Pardi both scoring multiple hits over the last two years, the tide seems to have turned. Tom Roland, Billboard, "Country's Roots Are Showing as New Releases Embrace Old-School Sounds," 11 July 2018 July Paint Night: Paint a relaxing summer day with this acrylic painting of an incoming tide. Courant Community, "Community News For The Vernon Edition," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But on the bright side, Ari just released a three-and-a-half-minute behind-the-scenes look at the filming of the video to tide you over until then. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Ariana Grande Just Shared Behind-the-Scenes Footage From Her 'Thank U, Next' Video," 29 Nov. 2018 And if the new trailer is any indication, there’s plenty of juicy plot lines (and steamy love scenes for Meredith!) to tide us over until Callie’s ready to scrub in again. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'Grey's Anatomy' Star Sara Ramirez Says She's Open to a Callie Return and Fans Are Freaking Out," 27 Sep. 2018 Faced with a similar cash crunch years ago, Vazquez had resorted to a payday loan, a high-interest, short term loan meant to tide a borrower over until the next paycheck. Fox News, "A lifeline for workers who face hardship between paychecks," 6 Aug. 2018 Faced with a similar cash crunch years ago, Vazquez had resorted to a payday loan, a high-interest, short-term loan meant to tide a borrower over until the next paycheck. Alexandra Olson, The Seattle Times, "Companies provide lifeline for workers who face hardship between paychecks," 6 Aug. 2018 The first two books, scheduled for this fall, will hopefully tide fans over until Season 3 of the series returns. Mary Cadden, USA TODAY, "'Stranger Things' prequel in the works," 11 June 2018 To tide you over till the weekend, here are the official wedding photos from the HGTV host and his new wife's big day. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Property Brother Drew Scott and Linda Phan's Wedding Photos are Finally Here," 31 May 2018 And so something like a little filler in the trough, plus the upper lids, will tide them over another five years or so, and then after a face-lift, for instance, tweaks can be made with fillers to just enhance the overall look. Carolyne Zinko, San Francisco Chronicle, "How to look your absolute best at any age? We asked the experts.," 15 May 2018 In a pinch, Nvidia’s GeForce Now game-streaming beta for PCs could tide you over in the interim. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "You can actually afford Nvidia GeForce graphics cards now," 9 May 2018

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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Statistics for tide

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tide

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

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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 \

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 \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on tide

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tide

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tide

Spanish Central: Translation of tide

Nglish: Translation of tide for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tide for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tide

Comments on tide

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


living or existing for a long time

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