v. tied, ty·ing (tīĭng), ties
1. To fasten or secure with or as if with a cord, rope, or strap: tied the kite to a post; tie up a bundle.
2. To fasten by drawing together the parts or sides and knotting with strings or laces: tied her shoes.
a. To make by fastening ends or parts: tie a knot.
b. To put a knot or bow in: tie a neck scarf.
4. To confine or restrict as if with cord: duties that tied him to the office.
5. To bring together in relationship; connect or unite: friends who were tied by common interests; people who are tied by blood or marriage.
a. To equal (an opponent or an opponent's score) in a contest.
b. To equal an opponent's score in (a contest): tied the game with minutes remaining.
7. Music To join (notes) by a tie.
1. To be fastened or attached: The apron ties at the back.
2. To achieve equal scores in a contest.
1. A cord, string, or other means by which something is tied.
2. Something that connects or unites; a link: a blood tie; marital ties.
3. A necktie.
4. A beam or rod that joins parts and gives support.
5. One of the timbers or slabs of concrete laid across a railroad bed to support the rails.
a. An equality of scores, votes, or performance in a contest: The election ended in a tie.
b. A contest so resulting; a draw.
7. Music A curved line above or below two notes of the same pitch, indicating that the tone is to be sustained for their combined duration.
1. To bring into or have a harmonious or effective relation; connect or coordinate: His explanation of what happened ties in with ours. We tied the new room in with the existing decor.
2. To include as part of a promotional tie-in: tied the movie in with their car brand.
To attack energetically.
1. Nautical To secure or be secured to a shore or pier; dock.
2. To impede the progress of; block: The accident tied up traffic.
3. To keep occupied; engage: She was tied up in a meeting all morning. The phone was tied up for an hour.
4. To place (funds) so as to make inaccessible for other uses: tied up her cash in long-term investments.
tie one on Slang
To become intoxicated; go on a drinking spree.
tie the knot Slang
1. To get married.
2. To perform a marriage ceremony.
[Middle English teien, from Old English tīgan; see deuk- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)tie
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.