\ 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
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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Senior Calevin Curry and Kentrell Webb are tied for the team lead with 15 tackles, combining for nine tackles for loss. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Paetow football showing early improvement entering District 10-5A Division II," 17 Sep. 2019 At 1-1, the Saints are tied for first place in the NFC South. BostonGlobe.com, "NEW ORLEANS — Saints quarterback Drew Brees has been diagnosed with a torn ligament near the thumb of his throwing hand that is expected to sideline him at least six weeks, said a person familiar with the situation.," 17 Sep. 2019 Much of his success has been tied to that trio of Roethlisberger, Brown and Bell. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Steelers' Mike Tomlin faces ultimate test after Ben Roethlisberger's injury," 16 Sep. 2019 Robert Tyrone Hayes, 37, was tied to the Central Florida killings after a similar 2016 homicide in Palm Beach, Daytona Beach police Chief Craig Capri told reporters at a news conference. Jeff Weiner, orlandosentinel.com, "Suspected serial killer arrested, linked to cold-case murders of 3 women in Daytona Beach," 16 Sep. 2019 Notre Dame and Marist were tied at 14 after the first half. Jon J. Kerr, chicagotribune.com, "Football notebook: Notre Dame makes a statement, fends off Marist," 16 Sep. 2019 Ifedi is tied for second in the league with four total penalties. oregonlive, "Seattle Seahawks defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers: 10 winners and losers," 16 Sep. 2019 That is tied with Alabama (1970-75) the second-longest away streak after World War II. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, "Jalen Hurts breaks records, accounts for 439 yards as Oklahoma rocks UCLA; Sooners tie Alabama mark," 15 Sep. 2019 As a result, RuPaul is now tied with Survivor host Jeff Probst's record for most wins in the category. Kirsten Chuba, The Hollywood Reporter, "Emmys: RuPaul Wins Best Reality Host 4th Year in a Row, Tying Jeff Probst's Record," 15 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And that his ties to Russia are irrelevant and inaccurate. Washington Post, "Super-Charged Revolut Might Be Driving Too Fast," 18 Sep. 2019 Under the previous leadership, the Women’s March was regularly under fire over its ties to anti-Semitic groups and comments deemed anti-Semitic. Fox News, "Linda Sarsour, other leaders accused of anti-Semitism parting with Women's March," 17 Sep. 2019 Lebesch would eventually end his ties to the brewery; Jordan stayed on, becoming CEO and greatly expanding the brewery’s reach. Theresa Mcculla, Smithsonian, "Here’s What’s Brewing in the New Smithsonian Beer Collections," 16 Sep. 2019 In New Orleans, Erman maintained his ties to the Celtics. BostonGlobe.com, "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 16 Sep. 2019 The timing of Trump's tweet, just days before Israel's election on Tuesday, appeared aimed at buttressing Netanyahu's bid to remain in power by showcasing his close ties to Trump. NBC News, "Trump brings up possible defense treaty that could boost Netanyahu's re-election bid," 14 Sep. 2019 In May, the Trump administration put Huawei on a trade blacklist citing security concerns over its alleged ties to the Chinese government. Jane Li, Quartz, "A US official says tech giants Alibaba and Tencent present similar risks as Huawei," 13 Sep. 2019 Earlier this week, MIT Media Lab director Joichi Ito resigned after an investigation revealed the lab's administrators had tried to conceal its financial ties to Epstein. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Jeffrey Epstein gave nearly $9 million to Harvard," 13 Sep. 2019 Apple's board was previously eyed by the Federal Trade Commission for its ties to competitors. David Goldman, CNN, "Bob Iger steps down from Apple's board as Disney becomes a competitor," 13 Sep. 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

6 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for tie

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

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More Definitions for tie


How to pronounce tie (audio)

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)

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

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a calculated move

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