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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for untie



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Surveillance footage shows the men holding the man’s weight and untying the sheet. Fox News, "3 Georgia inmates stop man from trying to commit suicide: report," 19 July 2019 For them, the value in anger and aggression has not yet been untied from toxic masculinity. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "The Decline of Yelling," 31 July 2019 Johansen says the suspects eventually untied the victim and allowed him to leave. San Diego Union-Tribune, "3 arrested in San Bruno on hate crime, kidnapping charges," 26 Aug. 2019 The suspects eventually untied the victim and allowed him to leave. Jason Green, The Mercury News, "San Bruno: 3 arrested on hate crime, kidnapping charges," 23 Aug. 2019 When Patterson’s shoelace came untied, Hackel bent over and helped him out. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "How Michigan is remembering Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson," 3 Aug. 2019 The man then unties the dog and walks away with her. Los Angeles Times, "Man accused of stealing golden retriever in San Francisco is arrested," 26 July 2019 The happy ending, announced early Monday by police, came less than two days after surveillance footage captured a man untying Lily’s leash from a pole at the market. Pete Grieve, SFChronicle.com, "Stolen dog reunited with SF owner, suspect still at large," 15 July 2019 The lace of one black boot came untied, and one of the furious skirt’s feet tripped over the other. Silvina Ocampo, The New Yorker, "Skylight," 11 July 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of untie

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about untie

Statistics for untie

Last Updated

17 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for untie

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for untie


How to pronounce untie (audio)

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on untie

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for untie

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


a calculated move

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!