Definition of tie verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//taɪ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//taɪ//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they tie
    BrE BrE//taɪ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//taɪ//
    he / she / it ties
    BrE BrE//taɪz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//taɪz//
    past simple tied
    BrE BrE//taɪd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//taɪd//
    past participle tied
    BrE BrE//taɪd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//taɪd//
    -ing form tying
    BrE BrE//ˈtaɪɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtaɪɪŋ//
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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 somebody/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 cable. 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 somebody/something closely with somebody/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 somebody 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 synonym draw tie (with somebody) England tied 2–2 with Germany in the first round. 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
  13. see also tongue-tied
    Word OriginOld English tīgan (verb), tēah (noun), of Germanic origin.Extra examples Carers can be completely tied to their homes. Did you tie the balloons on tightly? He tied his bathrobe firmly around him. He wore plimsolls, loosely tied with bits of string. Her hair was tied into a loose ponytail. I tied the bundle onto the end of the string. Katie tied her hair back with a ribbon. Production and consumption are inextricably tied together. She tied the rope securely to a tree. The prisoners were tied hand and foot. Their company’s future is closely tied to our own. Tie the cords neatly. You can’t stay tied to her forever. Can you tie a bow tie? He tied his shoes with a double knot. Her hands had been tied together. Last night’s vote was tied. Shall I tie the package or tape it up? She tied a price tag onto the vase. The bathrobe was tied loosely at her waist. The label was tied on with string. The robe ties at the waist. The victim was tied to a chair with rope.Idioms
    (tied to) somebody’s apron strings
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    (too much under) the influence and control of somebody The British prime minister is too apt to cling to Washington's apron strings.
      bind/tie somebody hand and foot
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    1. 1to tie somebody’s hands and feet together so that they cannot move or escape
    2. 2to prevent somebody from doing what they want by creating rules, restrictions, etc.
    to be unable to do what you want to do because of rules, promises, etc. I really wish I could help but my hands are tied.
    tie somebody/yourself (up) in knots
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    to become or make somebody very confused I got myself tied up in knots when I tried to explain the legal system to them.
    (informal) to get married (old-fashioned, North American English, slang) to get very drunk
    Phrasal Verbstie somebody downtie in (with something)tie in (with something)tie somethingofftie uptie somebodyuptie somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: tie