tie one on, Slang. to get drunk: Charlie sure tied one on last night!
    tie the knot. knot1(def 18).

Origin of tie

before 900; (noun) Middle English te(i)gh cord, rope, Old English tēagh, tēgh, cognate with Old Norse taug rope; (v.) Middle English tien, Old English tīgan, derivative of the noun; compare Old Norse teygja to draw. See tug, tow1
Related formsre·tie, verb (used with object), re·tied, re·ty·ing.un·der·tie, nounun·der·tie, verb (used with object), un·der·tied, un·der·ty·ing.well-tied, adjective

Synonyms for tie

Synonym study

22. See bond1.

Antonyms for tie Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tie

Contemporary Examples of tie

Historical Examples of tie

  • Strong as is the tie of interest, it has been often found ineffectual.

  • She called for Eileen, told her to tie on her sunshade and be ready for a short ride.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • As an honest man, it was for him to judge if he had the right of cutting the tie there and for ever.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • "Better slip back there and tie him, and land the ship," he says.

    Tom Sawyer Abroad

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • You must get hold of Bwana Nyele, and you must tie him fast also, and keep him from his safari.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

British Dictionary definitions for tie


verb ties, tying or tied

(when tr, often foll by up) to fasten or be fastened with string, thread, etc
to make (a knot or bow) in (something)to tie a knot; tie a ribbon
(tr) to restrict or secure
to equal the score of a competitor or fellow candidate
(tr) informal to unite in marriage
  1. to execute (two successive notes of the same pitch) as though they formed one note of composite time value
  2. to connect (two printed notes) with a tie
fit to be tied slang very angry or upset


a bond, link, or fastening
a restriction or restraint
a string, wire, ribbon, etc, with which something is tied
a long narrow piece of material worn, esp by men, under the collar of a shirt, tied in a knot close to the throat with the ends hanging down the frontUS name: necktie
  1. an equality in score, attainment, etc, in a contest
  2. the match or competition in which such a result is attained
a structural member carrying tension, such as a tie beam or tie rod
sport, British a match or game in an eliminating competitiona cup tie
(usually plural) a shoe fastened by means of laces
the US and Canadian name for sleeper (def. 3)
music a slur connecting two notes of the same pitch indicating that the sound is to be prolonged for their joint time value
surveying one of two measurements running from two points on a survey line to a point of detail to fix its position
lacemaking another name for bride 2
See also tie in, tie up

Word Origin for tie

Old English tīgan to tie; related to Old Norse teygja to draw, stretch out, Old English tēon to pull; see tug, tow 1, tight
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 tie

"that with which anything is tied," Old English teag, from Proto-Germanic *taugo (cf. Old Norse taug "tie," tygill "string"), from PIE *deuk- "to pull, to lead" (cf. Old English teon "to draw, pull, drag;" see duke (n.)).

Figurative sense is recorded from 1550s. Meaning "equality between competitors" is first found 1670s, from notion of a connecting link (tie-breaker is recorded from 1961). Sense of "necktie, cravat" first recorded 1761. The railway sense of "transverse sleeper" is from 1857, American English.


Old English tigan, tiegan, from the source of tie (n.). Related: Tied; tying. Tie-dye first attested 1904. Tie one on "get drunk" is recorded from 1951. In the noun sense of "connection," tie-in dates from 1934.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper