[ tahyd ]
See synonyms for: tidetiding on Thesaurus.com

  1. the periodic rise and fall of the waters of the ocean and its inlets, produced by the attraction of the moon and sun, and occurring about every 12 hours.

  2. the inflow, outflow, or current of water at any given place resulting from the waves of tides.

  1. a stream or current.

  2. anything that alternately rises and falls, increases and decreases, etc.: the tide of the seasons.

  3. current, tendency, or drift, as of events or ideas: the tide of international events.

  4. any extreme or critical period or condition: The tide of her illness is at its height.

  5. a season or period in the course of the year, day, etc. (now used chiefly in combination): wintertide; eventide.

  6. Ecclesiastical. a period of time that includes and follows an anniversary, festival, etc.

  7. Archaic. a suitable time or occasion.

  8. Obsolete. an extent of time.

verb (used without object),tid·ed, tid·ing.
  1. to flow as the tide; flow to and fro.

  2. to float or drift with the tide.

verb (used with object),tid·ed, tid·ing.
  1. to carry, as the tide does.

Verb Phrases
  1. tide over,

    • to assist in getting over a period of difficulty or distress.

    • to surmount (a difficulty, obstacle, etc.); survive.

Idioms about tide

  1. turn the tide, to reverse the course of events, especially from one extreme to another: The Battle of Saratoga turned the tide of the American Revolution.

Origin of tide

First recorded before 900; Middle English, Old English tīd “time, hour”; cognate with Dutch tijd, German Zeit, Old Norse tīth; akin to time

Other words from tide

  • tideful, adjective
  • tideless, adjective
  • tide·less·ness, noun
  • tidelike, adjective

Words Nearby tide

Other definitions for tide (2 of 2)

[ tahyd ]

verb (used without object),tid·ed, tid·ing.Archaic.
  1. to happen or befall.

Origin of tide

First recorded before 1000; Middle English tiden, Old English tīdan; see betide

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use tide in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for tide (1 of 2)


/ (taɪd) /

  1. the cyclic rise and fall of sea level caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon. There are usually two high tides and two low tides in each lunar day: See also tide-generating force, neap tide, spring tide

  2. the current, ebb, or flow of water at a specified place resulting from these changes in level: the tide is coming in

  1. a widespread tendency or movement: the tide of resentment against the government

  2. a critical point in time; turning point: the tide of his fortunes

  3. Northern English dialect a fair or holiday

  4. (in combination) a season or time: Christmastide

  5. rare any body of mobile water, such as a stream

  6. archaic a favourable opportunity

  1. to carry or be carried with or as if with the tide

  2. (intr) to ebb and flow like the tide

Origin of tide

Old English tīd time; related to Old High German zīt, Old Norse tīthr time

Derived forms of tide

  • tideless, adjective
  • tidelike, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for tide (2 of 2)


/ (taɪd) /

  1. (intr) archaic to happen

Origin of tide

Old English tīdan; related to Old Frisian tīdia to proceed to, Middle Low German tīden to hurry, Old Norse tītha to desire

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

Scientific definitions for tide


[ tīd ]

  1. The regular rise and fall in the surface level of the Earth's oceans, seas, and bays caused by the gravitational attraction of the Moon and to a lesser extent of the Sun. The maximum high tides (or spring tides) occur when the Moon and Sun are directly aligned with Earth, so that their gravitational pull on Earth's waters is along the same line and is reinforced. The lowest high tides (or neap tides) occur when the Moon and Sun are at right angles to each other, so that their gravitational pull on Earth's waters originates from two different directions and is mitigated. Tides vary greatly by region and are influenced by sea-floor topography, storms, and water currents. See also ebb tide flood tide neap tide spring tide.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with tide


In addition to the idiom beginning with tide

  • tide over

also see:

  • stem the tide
  • swim against the current (tide)
  • swim with the tide
  • time and tide
  • turn of the tide

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.