un·​tie | \ˌən-ˈtī \
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

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 This is a man who tried to untie an opponent's shoe, this is a man who talked to bystanders on the court during live action so that the guy could cut behind him and get the dunk. SI.com, "J.R. Smith vs. George Hill: Who Deserves More Blame for the Cavs' Collapse?," 1 June 2018 His crewman untied the trap’s bait bag and tossed the sour-smelling herring remains into the water, where a flock of sea gulls scuffled. New York Times, "Climate Change Brought a Lobster Boom. Now It Could Cause a Bust.," 21 June 2018 The yellow rope proved terrible, that hideous polyester stuff that unties your knot almost when you're done tying it and rots into nasty splinters. Seth Kantner, Anchorage Daily News, "We’re failing in our relationship with nature – and with each other," 9 June 2018 His behavior over time included touching the officer's hair, poking her under her arm near her breast, untying her shoes, and asking whether her 16-year-old daughter could date older men. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Female officers face widespread sexual harassment in Michigan's prison system," 21 Apr. 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

14 Nov 2018

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 \
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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