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

Related Words for tied

fixed, bound, trussed, secured, cinched, equal

Examples from the Web for tied

Contemporary Examples of tied

Historical Examples of tied

  • Or, if I'd only got tied up in some way for a few weeks—something I could tide over.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • He was interred under the stunted oak where Master Headley had been tied.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • "It was Captain Haley that tied me here," said Robert, his scruples removed.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Their hands were tied and they were to be executed in a few moments.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • For our relief I tied up the horses for some time before letting them go.

British Dictionary definitions for tied


adjective British

(of a public house, retail shop, etc) obliged to sell only the beer, products, etc, of a particular producera tied house; tied outlet
(of a house or cottage) rented out to the tenant for as long as he or she is employed by the owner
(of a loan) made by one nation to another on condition that the money is spent on goods or services provided by the lending nation


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 tied



"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