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

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Other Words from tie


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for tie

Synonyms: Verb

band, bind, truss

Synonyms: Noun

dead heat, draw, stalemate, standoff

Antonyms: Verb

unbind, untie

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Examples of tie in a Sentence


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.


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Manager Bob Melvin hopped out of the dugout to argue briefly, but the game remained tied at 2-2. Ron Kroichick, SFChronicle.com, "A’s complete sweep with walk-off win over White Sox," 14 July 2019 After the double and triple, the inning’s second wild pitch tied the game at 7-7 as Gamez scored. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Pasadena Pony All-Stars open Coast Region Tournament by thumping Deer Park," 13 July 2019 The preparations included closing massive flood gates and tying shrimping boats down. Justin Carissimo, CBS News, "Barry makes landfall in Louisiana and weakens to tropical storm - live updates," 13 July 2019 Nicolas Gaitan tied the score for the Fire at 45 minutes, rebounding his own penalty shot that was saved by Cincinnati goalie Spencer Richey, who made six saves. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Fire fall 2-1 to last-place Cincinnati FC," 13 July 2019 Perhaps the US Open is where Williams will tie Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 majors. Ravi Ubha, CNN, "Flawless Simona Halep beats Serena Williams to win first Wimbledon," 13 July 2019 When Bautista Agut’s shot hit the net tape, popped in the air and slid over for a winner that tied their semifinal at a set apiece, Djokovic motioned to the roaring fans, sarcastically encouraging folks to get louder. Howard Fendrich, BostonGlobe.com, "Roger Federer outlasts Rafael Nadal, advances to Wimbledon men’s final," 12 July 2019 Rookie lefty Gregory Soto pitched three scoreless innings of relief, leaving with the game tied after Victor Reyes’ third hit of the game in the top of the sixth made it 5-5. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers observations: Spencer Turnbull rusty in 8-5 loss," 12 July 2019 Her financial gains surfaced in records tied to husband Jeremiah Quarles’ theft case. Miles Moffeit Elvia Limón, Dallas News, "Tax funds stolen by her husband helped a DeSoto councilwoman. Why didn't authorities fully investigate?," 12 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Eloy Jimenez provided a power punch in the seventh, hitting a solo homer to left to break a 1-1 tie. Lamond Pope, chicagotribune.com, "4 takeaways from the White Sox-A’s series, including a better outing from Reynaldo Lopez and a little pop from Eloy Jimenez," 14 July 2019 Beede also hit two singles, including a grounder through the middle in the seventh inning that brought Donovan Solano home to break a 2-2 tie, his first big-league RBI. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "Giants win game, series behind Tyler Beede, but Evan Longoria leaves with injury," 14 July 2019 Her weekend getaway only started yesterday, but so far, Kylie has shared two iconic outfits: the hat and her very own pink tie-dye Kylie Skin jumpsuits. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner's Vacation Outfit Consisted of Only a Hat," 14 July 2019 Other programs include guided walks with a park ranger, trailhead displays, or a tie-in to the national Walk With a Doc program, which enables people to ask questions and learn about health from a local physician. Cassidy Randall, Glamour, "Spend More Time Outside—Doctor’s Orders," 11 July 2019 Ganni has a one-shoulder black-and-white gingham number with a high-waist lavender bottom while ACK has a fresh way to play with the ongoing tie-dye trend. Sophie Kemp, Vogue, "These Are the Best Bikinis for Hot and Humid Days," 9 July 2019 On Sunday, after Megan Rapinoe scored on a penalty kick to break a tense, scoreless tie, the entire team rushed to surround her, turning the corner off the field into a pop-up mosh pit. Editors, USA TODAY, "Here's the biggest news you missed this weekend," 7 July 2019 Just before halftime at Tuesday’s 2019 World Cup semifinal match between the USA and England, co-captain Alex Morgan made waves by bringing the U.S. ahead 2-1 and breaking an early tie with her goal. Raisa Bruner, Time, "The Alex Morgan Tea-Sipping World Cup Celebration Is the Ultimate Power Move," 2 July 2019 The captain headed home Lindsay Horan's pass in the 31st minute, breaking a 1-1 tie. NBC News, "Alex Morgan and Alyssa Naeher lead U.S. women to 2-1 victory over England in World Cup semis," 2 July 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for tie

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tie

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

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More Definitions for tie



English Language Learners Definition of tie

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to attach (someone or something) to something with a string, rope, etc.
: to pass (something, such as a string, ribbon, or rope) around itself in a way that attaches it to something or holds it in place : to make a knot or bow in (something)
: to close or hold (something) with a string, rope, etc., that is attached to it or wrapped around it



English Language Learners Definition of tie (Entry 2 of 2)

: a piece of string, ribbon, cord, etc., that is used for fastening, joining, or closing something
: something (such as an idea, interest, experience, or feeling) that is shared by people or groups and that forms a connection between them
: a responsibility that limits a person's freedom to do other things


\ 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on tie

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tie

Spanish Central: Translation of tie

Nglish: Translation of tie for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tie for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tie

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


to form ideas or theories about something

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