teth·​er | \ ˈte-t͟hər How to pronounce tether (audio) \

Definition of tether

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a line (as of rope or chain) by which an animal is fastened so as to restrict its range of movement
b : a line to which someone or something is attached (as for security) A crewman can clip the tether of his harness to the [safety line] and leave it clipped as he makes his way forward and aft.— Michael A. Smith
2 : the limit of one's strength or resources I'm at the end of my tether.


tethered; tethering\ ˈte-​t͟h(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce tether (audio) \

Definition of tether (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to fasten or restrain by or as if by a tether felt tethered to her desk until the work was done

Examples of tether in a Sentence

Verb They tethered the horses in the shade. The dog was tethered to the fence.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The novel posits a spiritual tether between Septimus and Clarissa, strangers paired in a filamentous bond that connects them through their distance. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, 8 Oct. 2021 The pies are symbolic and tasty tether to his days in the Nation of Islam and date back to the 1930s, when Elijah Muhammad told followers to stick to a healthy diet and promoted eating navy beans. Los Angeles Times, 17 Sep. 2021 The creator had no tie to any future sale or use of the work, no ownership or tether to claim whatsoever. Nicole Gull Mcelroy, Fortune, 13 Sep. 2021 Slicing through the tether could cause the tongue to fall back into the throat, obstructing the airway during sleep. Christina Szalinski, The Atlantic, 12 Sep. 2021 Cora, our Lab/blue heeler, stayed perched on the only dry bag that was not floating on a rope tether. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Sep. 2021 All crypto currencies, including bitcoin and tether, are not fiat currency and cannot be circulated on the market, the People’s Bank of China said on its website. Time, 24 Sep. 2021 The massed crowds are a sign that many Americans -- especially the young -- have come to the end of their tether with Covid-19 restrictions -- even as the pandemic hits historic levels in some states. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 8 Sep. 2021 After all, the world’s best-selling smartwatch is still a companion device that needs a tether to a smartphone. Chris Smith, BGR, 25 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The rise of a Black gang led by Harold McBrayer (Leslie Odom Jr.), an associate of Dickie’s, challenges the family’s hold on the neighborhood, but again, there’s not enough time to tether the worlds in a cohesive story. Lorraine Ali Television Critic, Los Angeles Times, 30 Sep. 2021 The move could tether the Ocmulgee River corridor’s many natural resources, such as Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, with a southern terminus in Hawkinsville. Stephanie Vermillion, Condé Nast Traveler, 22 Sep. 2021 An unexpected addition is a bill Abbott vetoed in June that banned the use of heavy chains to tether dogs outside and made the unlawful restraint of a dog a criminal offense. Robert T. Garrett, Dallas News, 7 Sep. 2021 Specifically, Apple’s VR headset will need to wirelessly tether to enable its most advanced features. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 2 Sep. 2021 Anything is possible—and any violence justifiable—for this misunderstood person with no connections to tether him and nothing left to lose. Jordan Kisner, The Atlantic, 19 Apr. 2021 The people who love you are here to help tether you to reality now. Tarot Astrologers, chicagotribune.com, 15 Aug. 2021 The bill, which passed in late May with broad bipartisan support in both chambers, would have banned the use of heavy chains to tether dogs and made the unlawful restraint of a dog a criminal offense. Emily Caldwell, Dallas News, 22 June 2021 These meals would tether Zauner to her Korean heritage. Mayukh Sen, The Atlantic, 21 Apr. 2021

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tether


Middle English tethir, teder, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse tjōthr tether; akin to Old High German zeotar pole of a wagon

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Time Traveler for tether

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The first known use of tether was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tether.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tether. Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for tether



English Language Learners Definition of tether

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a rope or chain that is used to tie an animal to a post, wall, etc., so that it will stay in a particular area



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

: to use a rope or chain to tie (an animal) to something in order to keep it in a particular area


teth·​er | \ ˈte-t͟hər \
tethered; tethering

Kids Definition of tether

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to fasten by a line that limits range of movement



Kids Definition of tether (Entry 2 of 2)

: a line by which something is fastened so as to limit where it can go


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