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[tar-ee] /ˈtær i/
verb (used without object), tarried, tarrying.
to remain or stay, as in a place; sojourn:
He tarried in Baltimore on his way to Washington.
to delay or be tardy in acting, starting, coming, etc.; linger or loiter.
to wait.
verb (used with object), tarried, tarrying.
Archaic. to wait for.
noun, plural tarries.
a stay; sojourn.
Origin of tarry1
1275-1325; Middle English taryen to delay, tary a delay < ?
Related forms
tarrier, noun
untarried, adjective
untarrying, adjective
1. rest, lodge, stop, abide. 3. See wait.
1. leave.


[tahr-ee] /ˈtɑr i/
adjective, tarrier, tarriest.
of or like tar; smeared with tar.
First recorded in 1545-55; tar1 + -y1
Related forms
tarriness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for tarry
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Why should we tarry any longer to see everything moiled and set at nought?

    The Armourer's Prentices Charlotte M. Yonge
  • Chip, knowing that his turn had come, and come to tarry, found nothing to say.

    Chip, of the Flying U B. M. Bower
  • Do you think I could not be permitted to tarry one week longer?

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Can we not tarry here a little longer while you find the rest you need?

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
  • But perchance the tide was favourable, and you could not tarry.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • But yet his horse was not a whit Inclined to tarry there; For why?

  • Shall we tarry at this house he speaks of, or press forward?

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • Enter His holy presence, tarry there, and spread your work before Him.

  • But the Commander-in-Chief must not tarry to bandy compliments.

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
British Dictionary definitions for tarry


verb -ries, -rying, -ried
(intransitive) to delay in coming or going; linger
(intransitive) to remain temporarily or briefly
(intransitive) to wait or stay
(transitive) (archaic or poetic) to await
noun (pl) -ries
(rare) a stay
Derived Forms
tarrier, noun
Word Origin
C14 tarien, of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tarry

early 14c., "to delay, retard," of uncertain origin. Some suggest a connection to Latin tardare "to delay," or Old English tergan "to vex, irritate." Intransitive meaning "to linger" is attested from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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