\ ˈtī How to pronounce tie (audio) \
tied; tying\ ˈtī-​iŋ How to pronounce tie (audio) \ or tieing

Definition of tie

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to fasten, attach, or close by means of a tie
b : to form a knot or bow in tie your scarf
c : to make by tying constituent elements tied a wreath tie a fishing fly
2a : to place or establish in relationship : connect
b : to unite in marriage
c : to unite (musical notes) by a tie
d : to join (power systems) electrically
3 : to restrain from independence or freedom of action or choice : constrain by or as if by authority, influence, agreement, or obligation
4a(1) : to make or have an equal score with in a contest
(2) : to equalize (the score) in a game or contest
(3) : to equalize the score of (a game)
b : to provide or offer something equal to : equal

intransitive verb

: to make a tie: such as
a : to make a bond or connection
b : to make an equal score
c : to become attached
d : to close by means of a tie
tie into
: to attack with vigor
tie one on
: to get drunk
tie the knot
: to perform a marriage ceremony also : to get married



Definition of tie (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a line, ribbon, or cord used for fastening, uniting, or drawing something closed especially : shoelace
b(1) : a structural element (such as a rod or angle iron) holding two pieces together : a tension member in a construction
(2) : any of the transverse supports to which railroad rails are fastened to keep them in line
2 : something that serves as a connecting link: such as
a : a moral or legal obligation to someone or something typically constituting a restraining power, influence, or duty
b : a bond of kinship or affection
3 : a curved line that joins two musical notes of the same pitch to denote a single tone sustained through the time value of the two
4a : an equality in number (as of votes or scores)
b : equality in a contest also : a contest that ends in a draw
5 : a method or style of tying or knotting
6 : something that is knotted or is to be knotted when worn: such as
a : necktie
b : a low laced shoe : oxford

Other Words from tie


tieless \ ˈtī-​ləs How to pronounce tie (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for tie

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of tie in a Sentence

Verb His kidnappers tied him to a chair. She tied a scarf around her neck. She tied knots in the rope. You need to tie your shoe. His hands and feet had been tied together. She tied the apron loosely around her waist. The team still has a chance to tie. I had the lead but he tied me by making a birdie on the last hole. Her time tied the world record. He tied the school's record in the high jump. Noun He was wearing a suit and tie. You have a spot on your tie. The pants have a tie at the top. He was not ready to accept the ties of family life. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The pop star also wears a green velvet outfit, while Affleck sports a black suit sans tie. Quinci Legardye, Harper's BAZAAR, 14 May 2022 One challenge with some of these fill-in-the-narrative novels that tie together timelines is that there’s seemingly not enough real estate for new storytelling or for an author to flex his or her or their creativity. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, 10 May 2022 Also sitting on the ground are dozens of 4-foot-diameter concrete collars and vaults that will tie each lot into the main sewer line and miles of drip irrigation tubes. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 May 2022 One potential new approach involves prediction markets powered by AI that can tie policy to impact, taking a holistic view of environmental information and interdependence. Gaurav Tewari, Forbes, 5 May 2022 Finally, of course, there are toys that tie into favorite movies and TV shows, both new and nostalgic — so make way for more Jurassic Park dinosaurs! Jamie Spain, Good Housekeeping, 25 Apr. 2022 There are no threads of commonality that tie all those series together. Greg Moore, The Arizona Republic, 16 Apr. 2022 Meghan sported an all white ensemble featuring wide-leg trousers with a matching oversized blazer, while Harry opted for a suit sans tie. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, 16 Apr. 2022 Together, the pair designed a collection for Ralph Lauren inspired by the traditions and fashions that tie HBCU students and alumni together for generations. NBC News, 10 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As a result, Wall Street is having to loosen its tie, literally, with less stringent dress codes, higher salaries and bonuses, and other overtures aimed at presenting a gentler, more worker-friendly image. Allison Morrow, CNN, 16 May 2022 Instead, Racing Louisville came away with its second tie of the season, as a late header from forward Jess McDonald allowed Racing (0-1-2) to escape with a 1-1 draw against Houston (1-1-1)at Lynn Family Stadium. Jonathan Saxon, The Courier-Journal, 15 May 2022 Cisneros took off his tie, belt and jacket, handed them to his attorney and was led away, hands shackled to his waist. Matthew Ormsethstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2022 The overhead lights were off, and the desk lamp was on, and his tie was undone. Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, The New Yorker, 2 May 2022 And all of a sudden, Catherine grabs my tie, and pulls me in, and opens the door— opens the door, and the judge has got a pistol laying on his desk. CBS News, 30 Apr. 2022 Your hair type and texture also matters when picking out your perfect hair tie. Sarah Hoffmann, Allure, 29 Apr. 2022 The man's oatmeal, police said, was poisoned with fentanyl before he was strangled to death with his favorite tie inside his home. Lawrence Andrea, The Indianapolis Star, 12 Apr. 2022 Bartlett delivered one report in his tie and shirt with his slacks rolled up to his knees while standing in shallow water at the bay front. Sam Whiting, San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of tie


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for tie


Middle English teg, tye, from Old English tēag; akin to Old Norse taug rope, Old English tēon to pull — more at tow entry 1

Learn More About tie

Time Traveler for tie

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for tie

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tie.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tie. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for tie


\ ˈtī How to pronounce tie (audio) \

Kids Definition of tie

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : necktie
2 : an equality in number (as of votes or scores) The game ended in a tie.
3 : a contest that ends with an equal score They finished the season with six wins and two ties.
4 : one of the cross supports to which railroad rails are fastened
5 : a connecting link : bond family ties
6 : a line, ribbon, or cord used for fastening, joining, or closing
7 : a part (as a beam or rod) holding two pieces together


tied; tying\ ˈtī-​iŋ \ or tieing

Kids Definition of tie (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to fasten, attach, or close by means of a tie
2 : to form a knot or bow in
3 : to bring together firmly : unite They are tied by marriage.
4 : to hold back from freedom of action Obligations tied her down.
5 : to make or have an equal score with in a contest

More from Merriam-Webster on tie

Nglish: Translation of tie for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tie for Arabic Speakers


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