from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To fasten or secure with or as if with a cord, rope, or strap: tied the kite to a post; tie up a bundle.
  • transitive v. To fasten by drawing together the parts or sides and knotting with strings or laces: tied her shoes.
  • transitive v. To make by fastening ends or parts: tie a knot.
  • transitive v. To put a knot or bow in: tie a neck scarf.
  • transitive v. To confine or restrict as if with cord: duties that tied him to the office.
  • transitive v. To bring together in relationship; connect or unite: friends who were tied by common interests; people who are tied by blood or marriage.
  • transitive v. To equal (an opponent or an opponent's score) in a contest.
  • transitive v. To equal an opponent's score in (a contest): tied the game with minutes remaining.
  • transitive v. Music To join (notes) by a tie.
  • intransitive v. To be fastened or attached: The apron ties at the back.
  • intransitive v. To achieve equal scores in a contest.
  • n. A cord, string, or other means by which something is tied.
  • n. Something that connects or unites; a link: a blood tie; marital ties.
  • n. A necktie.
  • n. A beam or rod that joins parts and gives support.
  • n. One of the beams, usually made of wood, that are laid across a railroad bed to secure the rails.
  • n. An equality of scores, votes, or performance in a contest: The election ended in a tie.
  • n. A contest so resulting; a draw.
  • n. 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.
  • tie in To bring into or have a close or effective relation; connect or coordinate: two events that do not tie in; tying the movie promotion in with the book sales.
  • tie into To attack energetically.
  • tie up Nautical To secure or be secured to a shore or pier; dock.
  • tie up To impede the progress of; block: The accident tied up traffic.
  • tie up To keep occupied; engage: She was tied up in a meeting all morning. The phone was tied up for an hour.
  • tie up To place (funds) so as to make inaccessible for other uses: tied up her cash in long-term investments.
  • idiom tie one on Slang To become intoxicated; go on a drinking spree.
  • idiom tie the knot Slang To get married.
  • idiom tie the knot Slang To perform a marriage ceremony.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A necktie (item of clothing consisting of a strip of cloth tied around the neck). See also bow tie, black tie.
  • n. The situation in which one or more participants in a competition are placed equally.
  • n. A piece of wire embedded in paper, strip of plastic with ratchets, or similar object which is wound around something and tightened.
  • n. A strong connection between people or groups of people, a bond.
  • n. A structural member firmly holding two pieces together.
  • n. A horizontal wooden or concrete structural member that supports and ties together rails.
  • n. The situation at the end of all innings of a match where both sides have the same total of runs (different to a draw).
  • n. A meeting between two players or teams in a competition.
  • n. A curved line connecting two notes of the same pitch denoting that they should be played as a single note with the combined length of both notes (not to be confused with a slur).
  • n. One or more equal values or sets of equal values in the data set.
  • n. A bearing and distance between a lot corner or point and a benchmark or iron off site.
  • n. connection between two vertices.
  • v. To twist (a string, rope, or the like) around itself securely.
  • v. To form (a knot or the like) in a string or the like.
  • v. To attach or fasten (one thing to another) by string or the like.
  • v. To secure (something) by string or the like.
  • v. To have the same score or position as another in a competition or ordering.
  • v. To have the same score or position as (another) in a competition or ordering.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A knot; a fastening.
  • n. A bond; an obligation, moral or legal.
  • n. A knot of hair, as at the back of a wig.
  • n. An equality in numbers, as of votes, scores, etc., which prevents either party from being victorious; equality in any contest, as a race.
  • n. A beam or rod for holding two parts together; in railways, one of the transverse timbers which support the track and keep it in place.
  • n. A line, usually straight, drawn across the stems of notes, or a curved line written over or under the notes, signifying that they are to be slurred, or closely united in the performance, or that two notes of the same pitch are to be sounded as one; a bind; a ligature.
  • n. Low shoes fastened with lacings.
  • intransitive v. To make a tie; to make an equal score.
  • transitive v. To fasten with a band or cord and knot; to bind.
  • transitive v. To form, as a knot, by interlacing or complicating a cord; also, to interlace, or form a knot in; ; to knit; to knot.
  • transitive v. To unite firmly; to fasten; to hold.
  • transitive v. To hold or constrain by authority or moral influence, as by knotted cords; to oblige; to constrain; to restrain; to confine.
  • transitive v. To unite, as notes, by a cross line, or by a curved line, or slur, drawn over or under them.
  • transitive v. To make an equal score with, in a contest; to be even with.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To attach or make fast by a band, ribbon, cord, or the like drawn together and knotted; bind.
  • To fasten by looping or knotting: as, to tie a ribbon on one's arm; hence, to fasten as if tied.
  • To fasten by tightening and knotting the strings of: as, to tie a shoe or a bonnet.
  • To form by looping and interlacing; knit: as, to tie a knot.
  • To bind or unite securely; specifically, to unite in marriage (colloq. in this use).
  • To bind, restrict, limit, or confine: hold or restrain, as by authority or moral influence.
  • In building, to bind together two bodies by means of a piece of timber or metal. See tie, n., 5.
  • In music, to unite or bind, as notes, by a tie. See tie, n., 8.
  • To supply with ties or sleepers, as the road-bed of a railway.
  • To make the same score as; equal in a score or contest: as, A tied B at checkers.
  • In surgery, to secure (a vein or an artery) with a ligature, so as to prevent loss of blood in case the vessel has been ruptured or severed, or to check the flow of blood through it in some special circumstances; ligate.
  • To restrain; confine; hinder from action.
  • To wrap up; protect with wrappings.
  • To confine; restrain; hamper in or hinder from motion or action.
  • To place or invest in such a way as to render unavailable: as, to have one's money tied up in real estate.
  • To give, devise, or bequeath in such a way and under such conditions as to prevent sale, or alienation from the person or purpose intended: as, to tic up an estate.
  • To make a tie with another or others in some contest; score the same number of points, runs, or the like.
  • n. 13. The binding down of the skin over the backs of fat cattle by connective-tissue fibers which pass through the thick fatty layer from the subcutaneous tissue.
  • n. In mining, a support in tension for the roof or hanging-wall of a mine. It is usually attached to the braced structure of a rib.
  • n. A band; rope; chain; a cord or other flexible thing used to fasten or bind, especially by knotting or looping; a fastening: as, cotton-ties (for binding bales of cotton); specifically, the ribbon or similar fastening used for the queue or pigtail, whether of the wig or of the natural hair.
  • n. A cravat, usually a simple one knotted in front; a necktie.
  • n. A knot composed of one or two loops of cord, ribbon, or the like; a looped ornamental knot; a bow.
  • n. Something which binds or unites, in a figurative sense; a bond; an obligation, moral or legal: as, the ties of blood or of friendship.
  • n. In construction, any rod or beam serving to counteract a pulling or tensile strain, to hold the parts together, to equalize opposing thrusts, or to transfer strains from one part of a structure to another.
  • n. On railroads, one of a series of beams, commonly of wood, laid on a permanent way and bedded in the ballast, on which are laid the rails to form the track. These ties are sometimes made of iron or stone, and in a variety of forms. Also called sleeper or cross-sleeper.
  • n. Nautical: That part of the topsail- or topgallant-halyards which is fast to the yard and passes through a sheave-hole in the mast or through a tie-block at the masthead.
  • n. A mooring-bridle.
  • n. In musical notation, a curve above or below two notes on the same degree which are to be performed continuously, as if but one; a bind or ligature. The following are examples:
  • n. A state of equality among competing or opposed parties, as when two candidates receive an equal number of votes, rival marksmen score a like number of points, or two or more racers reach the winning-post at the same time, so that neither party can be declared victorious; a contest in which two or more competitors are equally successful.
  • n. A weavers' pattern.
  • n. Same as lace, 2.
  • n. plural Low shoes fastened with lacings.
  • n. A tick (of a bed).
  • n. A feather-bed.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. neckwear consisting of a long narrow piece of material worn (mostly by men) under a collar and tied in knot at the front
  • n. a social or business relationship
  • n. a horizontal beam used to prevent two other structural members from spreading apart or separating
  • v. connect, fasten, or put together two or more pieces
  • n. one of the cross braces that support the rails on a railway track
  • n. the finish of a contest in which the score is tied and the winner is undecided
  • n. a cord (or string or ribbon or wire etc.) with which something is tied
  • v. fasten or secure with a rope, string, or cord
  • v. create social or emotional ties
  • v. limit or restrict to
  • v. form a knot or bow in
  • v. finish a game with an equal number of points, goals, etc.
  • v. unite musical notes by a tie
  • n. (music) a slur over two notes of the same pitch; indicates that the note is to be sustained for their combined time value
  • n. equality of score in a contest
  • n. a fastener that serves to join or connect
  • v. perform a marriage ceremony
  • v. make by tying pieces together


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English tien, from Old English tīgan; see deuk- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English tēag, tēah.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English tīġan, tiegan.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • JM heard about two silk worms having a race and they ended in a tie.

    May 31, 2011