a system for breaking a tie score at the end of regulation play by establishing a winner through special additional play, usually of a fairly short duration, as in tennis and soccer.

Nearby words

  1. tie-in,
  2. tie-off rail,
  3. tie-pin,
  4. tie-up,
  5. tieback,
  6. tieck,
  7. tieck, ludwig,
  8. tied,
  9. tied house,
  10. tied to apron strings

Often tie·break.

Origin of tiebreaker

First recorded in 1960–65; tie + breaker1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for tie-break




tennis a method of deciding quickly the result of a set drawn at six-all, usually involving the playing of one deciding game for the best of twelve points in which the service changes after odd-numbered points
any contest or game played to decide a winner when contestants have tied scores
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