verb (used without object), tar·ried, tar·ry·ing.

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), tar·ried, tar·ry·ing.

Archaic. to wait for.

noun, plural tar·ries.

a stay; sojourn.

Origin of tarry

1275–1325; Middle English taryen to delay, tary a delay < ?
Related formstar·ri·er, nounun·tar·ried, adjectiveun·tar·ry·ing, adjective

Synonyms for tarry

1. rest, lodge, stop, abide. 3. See wait.

Antonyms for tarry

1. leave.



adjective, tar·ri·er, tar·ri·est.

of or like tar; smeared with tar.

Origin of tarry

First recorded in 1545–55; tar1 + -y1
Related formstar·ri·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tarry

Contemporary Examples of tarry

Historical Examples of tarry

  • 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.

  • Can we not tarry here a little longer while you find the rest you need?

    The Last of the Mohicans

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Do you think I could not be permitted to tarry one week longer?

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • But perchance the tide was favourable, and you could not tarry.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

British Dictionary definitions for tarry


verb -ries, -rying or -ried

(intr) to delay in coming or going; linger
(intr) to remain temporarily or briefly
(intr) to wait or stay
(tr) archaic, or poetic to await

noun plural -ries

rare a stay
Derived Formstarrier, noun

Word Origin for tarry

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

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