American English

Definition of tie verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they tie
    he / she / it ties
    past simple tied
    -ing form tying
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    fasten with string/rope
  1. 1[transitive] tie something (+ adv./prep.) to attach or hold two or more things together using string, rope, etc.; to fasten someone or something with string, rope, etc. She tied the newspapers in a bundle. He had to tie her hands together. They tied him to a chair with a cord. Shall I tie the package or tape it? I tie back my hair when I'm cooking.
  2. 2[transitive] tie something + adv./prep. to fasten something to or around something else She tied a label on to the suitcase.
  3. 3[transitive] tie something to make a knot in a piece of string, rope, etc. to tie a ribbon Can you help me tie my tie? Tie up your shoelaces! I tied a knot in the rope.
  4. 4[intransitive] (+ adv./prep.) to be closed or fastened with a knot, etc. The skirt ties at the waist.
  5. connect/link
  6. 5[transitive, usually passive] tie somebody/something (to something/somebody) to connect or link someone or something closely with someone or something else Pay increases are tied to inflation. The house is tied to the job, so we'll have to move when I retire.
  7. restrict
  8. 6[transitive, usually passive] to restrict someone and make them unable to do everything they want to tie somebody to be tied by a contract tie somebody to something I want to work but I'm tied to the house with the baby. tie somebody to doing something I don't want to be tied to coming home at a particular time.
  9. in game/competition
  10. 7[intransitive, transitive] (of two teams, etc.) to have the same number of points tie (with somebody) The University of Connecticut and Arizona State are tied 78–78 in the second half. tie for something They tied for second place. tie something The scores are tied at 3–3. Last night's vote was tied.
  11. music
  12. 8[transitive] tie something to join notes with a tie see also tongue-tied
  13. Idioms
    (tied to) somebody's apron strings
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    (too much under) the influence and control of someone Foreign governments needing aid often cling to America's apron strings.
      bind/tie somebody hand and foot
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    1. 1to tie someone's hands and feet together so that they cannot move or escape
    2. 2to prevent someone from doing what they want by creating rules, restrictions, etc.
    tie somebody/yourself (up) in knots
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    to become or make someone very confused I got myself tied up in knots when I tried to explain the legal system to them.
    tie the knot (informal)
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    to get married
    tie one on (old-fashioned) (slang)
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    to get very drunk
    Phrasal Verbstie somebody down (to something/to doing something)tie in (with something)tie in (with something)tie somethingofftie uptie somebodyuptie somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: tie