un·​tie | \ ˌən-ˈtī How to pronounce untie (audio) \
untied; untying or untieing

Definition of untie

transitive verb

1 : to free from something that ties, fastens, or restrains : unbind untied our hands
2a : to disengage the knotted parts of untie a shoe
b : disentangle, resolve untie a traffic jam

intransitive verb

: to become loosened or unbound

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Synonyms & Antonyms for untie


unbind, undo, unfasten, unlash


bind, fasten, knot, lash, tie

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Examples of untie in a Sentence

He untied the package and opened it. She untied the horse from the post.

Recent Examples on the Web

For his latest attempt, though, Rocky loosened things up a bit, wearing a green bandana that was left resting on his head, untied. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "A$AP Rocky Is Here to Remind You That He Wore the Babushka First," 5 Apr. 2019 Naturally, Reid took this time to untie himself with a piece of shattered glass and save the pair from danger. Megan Stein, Country Living, "‘Criminal Minds’ Dropped a Major Bombshell During the Finale and People Are Furious," 7 Feb. 2019 Police are looking for surveillance footage to determine who could have untied the yacht. Connor Perrett, Teen Vogue, "Betsy DeVos's $40 Million Yacht Was Set Adrift in Ohio," 26 July 2018 Simply double it up — just make sure that the bow will be easy to untie or cut once the bird’s done cooking. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "How to Perfectly Prepare and Roast a Turkey This Thanksgiving," 20 Nov. 2018 Last month, vandals untied a $40 million yacht owned by DeVos' family, setting it adrift at a boat club in Huron, Ohio, resulting in thousands of dollars in damage. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Petition asks Trump to name LeBron James new education secretary, replacing DeVos," 10 Aug. 2018 Decision-by-penalties seems like a child’s idea of how to untie a match. Alejandro Chacoff, The Atlantic, "Soccer Has No Interest in Fairness," 12 July 2018 The buzz: Croatia is one of three teams to survive the first round unbeaten and untied. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "Here's a look at Sunday's World Cup games," 30 June 2018 Ruth refuses to let the doctor cut off her boot, so Sam gently unties it and slips it off her swollen ankle. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "R29 Binge Club: Glow Season 2, Episodes 1-10," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'untie.' 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 untie

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

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Statistics for untie

Last Updated

30 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for untie

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

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More Definitions for untie



English Language Learners Definition of untie

: to undo the knots in or of (something)
: to remove the rope, string, etc., that attaches (something or someone) to something


un·​tie | \ ˌən-ˈtī How to pronounce untie (audio) \
untied; untying or untieing

Kids Definition of untie

1 : to undo the knots in I can't untie my shoelaces.
2 : to free from something that fastens or holds back He untied the horse.

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More from Merriam-Webster on untie

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with untie

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for untie

Spanish Central: Translation of untie

Nglish: Translation of untie for Spanish Speakers

Comments on untie

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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