\ 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 chant echoed a rising tide of frustration among many Trinbagonian citizens, vexed by Prime Minister Keith Rowley’s weak response to what Refugees International has called the worst humanitarian crisis in the Americas in modern history. Safiya Charles, The New Republic, "Trump’s Venezuela Policy Is Causing Turmoil in the Caribbean," 9 Aug. 2019 Authorities said the two families went to the beach and encountered a fast-moving tide. From Helena Demoura, CNN, "3 American tourists drown during island beach vacation," 7 Aug. 2019 Wochit, Louisville Courier Journal Nearly every state is struggling with high rates of child abuse and neglect, an acute shortage of social workers and a rising tide of children in foster care. Deborah Yetter, The Courier-Journal, "As states struggle to improve child welfare, here are some solutions that stand out," 7 Aug. 2019 In the process any notion of European genetic purity has been swept away on a tide of powdered bone. Andrew Curry, National Geographic, "The first Europeans weren’t who you might think," 12 July 2019 Arizona’s lineup, however, isn’t exactly a tide that can lift all boats. Michael Shapiro, SI.com, "Chris Archer Leads First Fantasy Baseball Droppables of the Second Half," 11 July 2019 Afterward, that perspective has been drowned by a tide of testimony in favor of cutting the dividend to preserve services. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "As individual Alaskans testify against Dunleavy vetoes, organizations lobby as well," 6 July 2019 So those advances help all writers eventually: a rising tide lifts all boats. Ed Christman, Billboard, "As Competition Heats Up, Performance Rights Organizations Respond To Market Changes," 1 July 2019 At the time, the Sun Sentinel was writing extensively about a growing tide of deaths from prescription drugs such as OxyContin. Fred Schulte, Sun-Sentinel.com, "How America got hooked on the deadly drug OxyContin," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 That, and those tortilla chips with smooth, homemade salsa, make the perfect nibbles to tide you over while that Molcajete is cooling off. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Eating my way through Mercado del Barrio: This is what America tastes like," 20 June 2019 The symphony then began to discuss the possibility of obtaining a $1 million bridge loan from the state to tide the organization over — a sum that conceivably could have paid the musicians’ salaries and benefits this summer. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "BSO owed vendors $2.1 million as of April, nearly doubling amount owed 19 months ago," 25 June 2019 So, to tide you over until your team actually signs someone, here are the best transfer rumours this Sunday has to offer. SI.com, "Transfer Rumours: Everton to United, Trippier to Juve, Tokoz to Liverpool or Arsenal and More," 16 June 2019 Some advocates and lawmakers have questioned Pennsylvania’s timeline or urged the DEP to create a temporary rule to tide the state over until the two-to-three-year process is done. Laura Mccrystal, https://www.inquirer.com, "Setting clean water standards is the EPA’s job. Pa. and other states are doing it instead.," 6 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

27 Aug 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

Comments on tide

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one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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