\ 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 tideless (audio) \ 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

The foreign minister also explained that in return for its work on immigration, Mexico has asked the U.S. government to help stem the tide of guns flowing into Mexico. Washington Post, "Mexico says it disagrees with US Supreme Court order," 13 Sep. 2019 In a city overwhelmed by murder, where police and prosecutors are desperate to stem the tide of violence by solving cases and securing convictions, average residents are often asked to step up and help. Juliana Kim, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore women called to testify in recent cases say their fears were largely ignored," 4 Sep. 2019 But a workplace-by-workplace lawsuit approach, slow and susceptible to setbacks and reversals, won’t stem the rising tide of wellness programs. Lena Solow, The New Republic, "The Scourge of Worker Wellness Programs," 2 Sep. 2019 For its part, Mission took pains to stem this tide by introducing Mission Fair Ticketing. Dylan Owens, The Know, "Mission Ballroom’s hot tickets have fans feeling burned by quick sell-outs and high resale prices," 16 Aug. 2019 The company is part of a growing information security industry that’s working to stem the rising tide of cyberattacks. Zoe Schiffer, Vox, "The life of a white-hat hacker," 8 Aug. 2019 Instead, the Facebook-FTC agreement is primarily intended to stem the tide of your data flowing through Facebook and out to third-party developers. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "What Facebook's new government-enforced privacy restrictions mean for you," 24 July 2019 Recently a group of chefs has committed to stemming the tide of globalization, by elevating traditional foods in the Andes into what has been dubbed Novoandina cuisine. National Geographic, "Here’s why every foodie you know is heading to Peru," 19 July 2019 Walmart, Best Buy, Newegg, Lenovo, and various other shops have all put out their own sales promotions to stem the tide of shoppers heading toward Amazon. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "Dealmaster: The best Prime Day tech deals from retailers besides Amazon," 16 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But just tiding the family over is not enough anymore. Campbell Robertson, New York Times, "In Coal Country, the Mines Shut Down, the Women Went to Work and the World Quietly Changed," 14 Sep. 2019 Farmers and ranchers search for ways to store water to tide them over when the electric pumps aren’t working. Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post, "California wildfire plan shows how we can adapt to threat of natural disasters," 23 Aug. 2019 But now everyone’s looking for something to tide us over until the season comes around. oregonlive, "A girl, a cookbook and a new life, with an assist from the Portland Trail Blazers," 15 Sep. 2019 The streaming service just unveiled its full lineup for the upcoming spooky season — with tons of original films and TV shows to tide you over until Oct. 31. Helen Murphy, PEOPLE.com, "Spooky! See Netflix's Lineup of Original Halloween Movies and Shows," 13 Sep. 2019 Between the podcast and links, this should tide you over until issue No. Pat Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "FC Cincinnati: The Touchline Newsletter, issue 2," 8 Aug. 2019 Until then, tide yourself over with this medley from Good Morning America, starring Leona Lewis as Grizzabella. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About the 'Cats' Movie," 18 July 2019 The audit also questions whether the BSO will receive any of the $3.2 million in state emergency funding intended to tide the organization over until a working group could identify potential permanent solutions. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Audit reveals state funds, shortened season may not be enough to save Baltimore Symphony Orchestra," 17 July 2019 While the premiere date for The Crown's third season is yet to be announced, there's a new show landing on Netflix next week that may help tide you over. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "If You Love The Crown, You've Got to Watch Netflix's The Last Czars," 27 June 2019

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

8 Oct 2019

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 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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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

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