verb (used without object), bid·ed or bode; bid·ed or (Archaic) bid; bid·ing.
  1. to dwell; abide; wait; remain.
  1. bide one's time, to wait for a favorable opportunity: He wanted to ask for a raise, but bided his time.

Origin of bide

before 900; Middle English biden, Old English bīdan; cognate with Old Frisian bīdia, Old Saxon bīdan, Old High German bītan, Old Norse bītha, Gothic beidan, Latin fīdere, Greek peíthesthai to trust, rely < Indo-European *bheidh-; the meaning apparently developed: have trust > endure > wait > abide > remain
Related formsbid·er, noun

Synonyms for bide Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for biding

dwell, reside, await, attend, linger, tarry, live, abide, stay, remain, continue

Examples from the Web for biding

Contemporary Examples of biding

Historical Examples of biding

  • We have been open, honourable enemies, and have always said we were biding our time.

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

  • Her ears moved back and forth as she stood there biding some word from him.

    When the West Was Young

    Frederick R. Bechdolt

  • She felt that Haig was playing with Huntington, and biding his time.

  • Indifferent in appearance to what was going on, he was biding his time.


    Joseph Conrad

  • Winters evidently suspected nothing, and was biding his time.

British Dictionary definitions for biding


verb bides, biding, bided, bode or bided
  1. (intr) archaic, or dialect to continue in a certain place or state; stay
  2. (intr) archaic, or dialect to live; dwell
  3. (tr) archaic, or dialect to tolerate; endure
  4. bide a wee Scot to stay a little
  5. bide by Scot to abide by
  6. bide one's time to wait patiently for an opportunity
Often shortened to: (Scot) byde

Word Origin for bide

Old English bīdan; related to Old Norse bītha to wait, Gothic beidan, Old High German bītan
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

Word Origin and History for biding



Old English bidan "to stay, continue, live, remain," also "to trust, rely" (cognate with Old Norse biða, Old Saxon bidan, Old Frisian bidia, Middle Dutch biden, Old High German bitan, Gothic beidan "to wait"), apparently from PIE *bheidh-, an extended stem of one root of Old English biddan (see bid (v.)), the original sense of which was "to command," and "to trust" (cf. Greek peithein "to persuade," pistis "faith;" Latin fidere "to trust," foedus "compact, treaty," Old Church Slavonic beda "need"). Perhaps the sense evolved in prehistoric times through "endure," and "endure a wait," to "to wait." Preserved in Scotland and northern England, replaced elsewhere by abide in all senses except to bide one's time. Related: Bided; biding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper