Definition of tie in English:



  • 1[with object and usually with adverbial] Attach or fasten with string or similar cord:

    ‘Gabriel tied up his horse’
    ‘they tied Max to a chair’
    ‘her long hair was tied back in a bow’
    • ‘Cassie had luxurious brownish-black hair, which was tied back into a bouncy ponytail.’
    • ‘He had blue eyes and blond hair that was tied back.’
    • ‘Outside the gale howled, the rain lashed and the wind chimes clattered in spite of being tied up with string.’
    • ‘I can get up and leave the room as long as you are tied to that chair over there.’
    • ‘He had reddish brown hair that was tied back with a red bandana.’
    • ‘Many knots and strings tied the clothes together and kept them in place.’
    • ‘Sandy Cadway laughed, tying her wavy blonde hair up into a messy ponytail.’
    • ‘She tied the string attached the sheath to her belt and looked back into the crate.’
    • ‘I had talked Everly into tying her luxurious dark hair into a messy ponytail which I promised would not get messed under the buggy helmet.’
    • ‘She had dark red hair that was tied up behind her head.’
    • ‘The father was calm and had long black hair that was tied back.’
    • ‘That's when she realized she was tied to the chair.’
    • ‘He tied Charcoal's leading cord to the tree, and she gave him a disapproving gaze.’
    • ‘I stifled a yawn as Rheena came rushing towards me, tying her long brown hair in a bun, similar to mine.’
    • ‘The belay line they were attached to was not tied down to the deck either.’
    • ‘I unlocked the dorm door and stepped outside, tying my unruly red hair up.’
    • ‘She had long hair, which was tied back in a ponytail and she had facial piercings or facial jewellery.’
    • ‘She was tied to a chair while they made off, on foot, with the cash.’
    • ‘His girlfriend has dark shoulder length hair which was tied back and wore a shiny blue overcoat.’
    • ‘I was tied to a spiked rock, and I couldn't struggle free.’
    bind, tie up, tether, hitch, strap, truss, fetter, rope, chain, make fast, moor, lash, attach, fasten, fix, secure, join, connect, link, couple
    bind, tie, tether, hitch, strap, truss, fetter, rope, chain, make fast, moor, lash, attach, fasten, fix, secure
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    1. 1.1 Fasten (something) by means of its strings or by forming the ends into a knot or bow:
      ‘Lewis tied on his apron’
      • ‘He wore some sort of leather strapped over a filthy wool shirt, and around his head was tied a strip of cloth that might have originally been green silk.’
      • ‘Her deep sleeved robe of pure white was tied with golden cords around her petite waist, the light, airy hem of her skirt danced around her ankles as she reached them.’
      • ‘She felt a ragged strip of cloth being tied around the back of her head.’
      • ‘I hung my backpack under my name tag and took an apron, tying it with more force than was intended.’
      • ‘She tore two strips off the clean partitions of the bandage and tied them around the bridges of her feet.’
      • ‘I unrolled the bandage and started tying it around her head.’
      • ‘Then he tore off a long strip and tied it about his forehead in order to disguise the red marking.’
      • ‘Vincent slashed the string that was tied around Audrey's hair.’
      • ‘After cutting them into strips, he tied them around his legs.’
      • ‘As usual, he wore his long, straight colourless hair down, and tied a blue designed headband around his head.’
      • ‘The red fluid slowly stopped, and she tied some bandage cloths around her to prevent further bleeding.’
      • ‘Then tie a piece of string around one end of the roll and knot firmly.’
      • ‘The easiest way to practice this knot is to try tying pieces of string to a nail.’
      • ‘How about reaching up your back from behind as if you wanted to fasten some buttons or tie an apron on?’
      • ‘‘Much obliged,’ I said, putting on the apron and tying a scarf around my head.’
      • ‘He bandaged her wounds and tied them tight to stop the bleeding.’
      • ‘Alexia reached for the apron and tied it around herself with some difficulty.’
      • ‘A strip of cloth was tied around his right shin, presumably to hold the bottom of his pants together from a rather large tear.’
      • ‘Cutting off the sleeve, I tore it into one large strip, and tied it around my wound.’
      • ‘I leaned down and worked to undo the cords that had been tied around her wrists.’
    2. 1.2 Form (a string, ribbon, or lace) into a knot or bow:
      ‘Renwick bent to tie his shoelace’
      • ‘Soon enough, her hair was braided, and Lucia was tying the ribbon into a bow.’
      • ‘As well as these basic manners, youngsters are not being shown skills like how to sit still, to tie shoelaces and fasten buttons.’
      • ‘However, he still suffers co-ordination problems with his left hand making it difficult for him to tie shoelaces and fasten buttons, and is a bit slower when giving answers to questions.’
      • ‘I finished tying the ribbons into a bow under her chin.’
      • ‘She quickly braided her hair and tied a white ribbon at the end, grabbing a matching straw bonnet before heading downstairs to join her husband for breakfast.’
      • ‘I quickly bent down to tie the bothersome laces and walked back to my desk, leaving Greg to put away the rest of the equipment.’
      • ‘At their Dallas home, a friend has tied 100 yellow ribbons around front-yard trees.’
      • ‘Chastity bent down to tie her shoelace, and after succeeding in making it into a perfect bow, she looked up and examined the locker room.’
      • ‘I called for some water and bent down to tie my shoelace.’
      • ‘The tone of his voice suggested that he was talking to a feeble-minded minion who couldn't be trusted to tie his or her own shoe laces.’
      • ‘I sit on the edge of the bed, and pull on my black Vans, tying the hot pink shoelaces.’
      • ‘Just as she finished tying the last of the ribbons, she heard a knock on the door.’
      • ‘Make certain you wear shoes suitable for climbing and working on a ladder, and that the shoe laces are tied.’
      • ‘Without bothering to dry her hair she loosely braided it and tied a black ribbon at the bottom.’
      • ‘Jocelyn slipped her arms through the short sleeves and Sylvie told her to hold still while she tied the golden ribbon lacing up the back; it ended with a bow at her waist.’
    3. 1.3 Form (a knot or bow) in a ribbon, lace, etc.:
      ‘tie a knot in one end of the cotton’
      • ‘The final part provides diagrams showing just how to tie those 85 knots.’
      • ‘Run ribbon through the holes and tie a bow at the side.’
      • ‘A characteristic of a quality tie is one that has been cut across the fabric so that it allows the tie to fall straightforward after the knot has been tied.’
      • ‘Cut the string before inserting, of course, or tie a knot first for easy removal.’
      • ‘Keep the loops tight, and they will hold the laces in place while you tie your final knot/bow.’
      • ‘He was an artist with the language, a craftsman who could tie paragraphs together the way sailors tie a slip knot.’
      • ‘Demonstrate how to thread a needle and tie a knot.’
      • ‘It was a process a bit like tying a granny knot: twisting one edge of the sausage rope into a loop, then threading the other end through, looping it, and twisting again.’
      • ‘In next to no time, I stepped in and tied a perfect lattigo knot in nothing flat.’
      • ‘She's so excited that she takes a blue ribbon out of her hair and just ties a bow around it.’
      • ‘You may decide that the knots need to be tied tighter, looser or in larger or smaller sections.’
      • ‘A double turn blood knot will do the trick, or tie a few granny knots in the tail link.’
      • ‘Maggie stepped up and started pulling at the frayed knots that were tied around his ankles.’
      • ‘Then he brushed his knee-length hair one hundred strokes, braided it, and tied it back with a piece of green ribbon, simply knotting it instead of tying a bow.’
      • ‘I of course immediately asked him how many knots he could tie.’
    4. 1.4[no object] Be fastened with a knot or bow:
      ‘a sarong which ties at the waist’
  • 2[with object] Restrict or limit (someone) to a particular situation or place:

    ‘she didn't want to be like her mother, tied to a feckless man’
    ‘she didn't want to be tied down by a full-time job’
    • ‘The structure of the novel is also a help in this case - whilst we used the four-character idea we weren't tied to it.’
    • ‘The previous relationship produced four children, and while she was tied to the stove she thought her singing career was over.’
    • ‘For another, it works on any website, anywhere, so you're not tied to a limited range of products.’
    • ‘You weren't tied to a house, you weren't tied to anything.’
    • ‘If we are tied to a specific date, though, we have no choice in the matter.’
    • ‘These days with a husband and young child, she's more tied to her New York home.’
    • ‘He explained that because he is not tied to school contracts, he is able to arrange short breaks for small groups, which are not restricted to time.’
    • ‘We are still tied to the land and implicitly drawn into the action.’
    • ‘We're so tied to the Middle East because of the oil industry, so what happens there directly impacts us here in Calgary.’
    • ‘But once he is tied to a project, he is fully committed.’
    • ‘Her life is now irrevocably altered, she is tied to him for the rest of her life.’
    • ‘He was tied to the things he hated, or claimed to hate, like Prometheus lashed to his rock.’
    • ‘And of course, until it's all fixed I can't get my email in Detroit unless I'm tied to dial-up access.’
    • ‘West Bromwich has a two year deal at 3.75%, but you are tied to the society for four years.’
    • ‘We are tied to them by love and loyalty; and that is what makes it right to remember them.’
    • ‘Plus it's much more flexible by way of I'm not tied to a particular area for an undue amount of time.’
    • ‘Yes, this does help make our operation more efficient because we are not tied to very specific collection times.’
    • ‘I am not tied to any party anymore but more finding out if that balance works.’
    • ‘Before that we didn't really go out and I suppose you could say we were tied to the kitchen sink a bit!’
    • ‘It is, of course, difficult to quantify the value of the time saved by travelling by car and we are not tied to a particular time schedule as with public transport.’
    restrict, restrain, limit, constrain, confine, cramp
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  • 3[with object] Connect; link:

    ‘self-respect is closely tied up with the esteem in which one is held by one's fellows’
    • ‘Prosecutors say he is tied to the crime by witnesses, blood spatters, ballistics and DNA analysis.’
    • ‘These artists are a fraction of total musicians - a small fraction - and to damn the other artists for being tied up with the same organisation is callous.’
    • ‘This can result in the child having conflicting feelings of wanting the love which is tied up with the abuse, making them feel like they wanted the abuse.’
    • ‘This group in Washington is tied to known terrorist organizations.’
    • ‘John's father, Joe Kennedy was a bootlegger during the prohibition and was also tied up with Mafia.’
    • ‘That red tape is a result of an endless stream of initiatives from the government, which are usually tied up with the private sector.’
    • ‘But fertility, of course, has always been tied up with deep emotional and moral issues.’
    • ‘Happiness, in this scheme of things, is always tied up with what happens, especially what happens by luck or chance.’
    • ‘I think it is unfortunate that fiscal stimulus now is tied up with fiscal reform in this huge $1.6 trillion package.’
    • ‘It seems to be tied up with a rather Victorian work ethic where poor people are demonised for idleness and deserve their fate.’
    • ‘Much of the company's success has been tied up with its campaigning approach to the pursuit of social and environmental issues.’
    • ‘Opera has been closely tied up with social and political issues.’
    • ‘Music has always been important in Brazilian culture - it has been a vehicle for rebellion, but has also been closely tied up with regional and national identity.’
    • ‘That is tied up with the elements of the offence, of course, in the first place.’
    • ‘Right now we have a cost-of-living increase, that is tied more to wages than actual inflation.’
    • ‘They do, however, have their own politics which are tied up with ruling classes, nationalism, etc.’
    • ‘It's just a damn shame that the award will inevitably be somewhat tied up with the question of how much of the win was race-related.’
    • ‘This is a rather different issue, and is tied up with the Board's wish not to commit itself to an increase in its total spend until it completed its comprehensive review.’
    • ‘Everything was tied up with the dreams she kept having.’
    • ‘His switch to study theology with work in the Anglican Church may well have been tied up with the beginning of the First World War.’
    link, couple, connect, relate, join, marry, wed
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    1. 3.1 Hold together by a crosspiece or tie:
      ‘ceiling joists are used to tie the rafter feet’
    2. 3.2Music Unite (written notes) by a tie.
    3. 3.3Music Perform (two notes) as one unbroken note.
  • 4[no object] Achieve the same score or ranking as another competitor or team:

    ‘Norman needed a par to tie with Nicklaus’
    [with object] ‘Muir tied the score at 5–5’
    • ‘When the teams tied for the pennant at the end of the regular season, they played a three-game playoff.’
    • ‘Only three point scorers return from last year's team that tied for ninth place.’
    • ‘Sean Collins, who tied for the team lead with 22 goals, is back for his junior season.’
    • ‘But they should be even stronger in 2000, as 19 starters return from a team that tied for the Mountain West title.’
    • ‘He also led the Bears in sacks with eight and tied for the team lead in interceptions with two.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, he tied for the team lead with four interceptions.’
    • ‘With the scores tied at 7-7 after normal time, Druids went on to win 11-9.’
    • ‘Brazilian gymnasts earned or tied for the top score on three of the four women's events.’
    • ‘As a rookie last season, he tied for the league lead in offensive boards.’
    • ‘He led the league in scoring with 94 points and tied for the league lead in assists with 56.’
    • ‘Triple Olympic champion Ludger Beerbaum of Germany finished tied for 16th.’
    • ‘Bows of all types from embroidered bows on necklines to traditional tied bows on corset style bodices will feature often, especially in knits.’
    • ‘Porter also tied for the team lead in interceptions.’
    • ‘He scored 115 points this year, tied for sixth most in team history.’
    • ‘Last season he scored 13 goals, which tied for the lowest total of his career.’
    • ‘With the score tied, the opposing team sunk two foul shots sealing a win by a score of 49-47.’
    • ‘An easy conversion tied up the scores and so it remained until half time.’
    • ‘A total of 17 tables were filled on the night and three teams tied for first place.’
    • ‘Fisher, who tied for the team lead last year with four interceptions, broke his right arm in the first half.’
    • ‘The teams not only tied but scored their points in exactly the same way as each other, sharing six tries evenly.’
    • ‘Their competitors tied for second place with 66 points.’
    draw, be equal, be even, be level, be neck and neck
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  • 1A piece of string, cord, or similar used for fastening or tying something:

    ‘he tightened the tie of his robe’
    • ‘Tie the top of the mesh sleeve with cable ties and then clip it to the nylon string using clothes pins.’
    • ‘The ties on the robe he was wearing were defeating him.’
    • ‘These are made of blue or white plastic clothes pegs, cable ties, nails and wire.’
    • ‘After he was subdued, cabin crew used plastic ties to restrain his hands.’
    • ‘I barely noticed the way he had worked his hands to the tie around my robe.’
    • ‘It was a great exercise in learning to play without specific goals and to realize the many sensations one can create with any object, be it a feather duster, a hairbrush or a bunch of cable ties.’
    • ‘Some are roughly wrapped around wooden frames and screwed and bolted into place; others are cut into strips, which are then rolled up and fastened with plastic ties.’
    • ‘Some of the most damaging ties are fastened around trees for secondary purposes, for washing lines, swings or bird box fixings.’
    • ‘After a few minutes of pushing all the connections to make sure they were all secure and then setting to work on the cable ties with a pair of scissors everything is back to normal.’
    • ‘I dragged my hair up into a ponytail, not troubling to smooth it through with a brush or comb, and fastened it with a tie.’
    • ‘Either pieces of pipe cleaner or paper-covered wire plant ties can be used to tie the stems to the stake.’
    • ‘Each kit contains a plastic sheet, a clean razor blade, a cutting surface, soap, and cord ties.’
    • ‘Made from soft cotton, it features a shawl collar, sash tie with belt loops and side pouch pockets.’
    • ‘I ripped away my covers and fought at the tie on my robe.’
    • ‘Use rubber bands or inexpensive cable ties to temporarily tie up appliance cords and window blinds.’
    • ‘With that he turned and walked back into his house, the ties on his robe trailing behind him.’
    • ‘Such skirts were made up of a pair of aprons that wrapped around the body and were attached to a wide cotton waistband that fastened with buttons or ties.’
    • ‘It is basically a crossover sweater, but the ties are in the back where little hands won't be able to get at them.’
    • ‘Orion whipped out a slender stick mechanism from the tie of his robe and summoned the paper with a mere flick of it.’
    • ‘She wriggled around for a moment, trying to get free of the ties.’
    lace, string, cord, ligature, wire, bond, fetter, link, fastening, fastener
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    1. 1.1US A shoe tied with a lace.
      • ‘It had to be untied, loose ties with fat laces, always spotlessly white.’
      • ‘Roper also offers custom-designed ties for larger customers' needs.’
  • 2A rod or beam holding parts of a structure together.

    • ‘All these walls have metal anchors, ties, and fasteners that cause thermal bridges.’
    • ‘This transparency is achievable because the building front is cantilevered and suspended from the main structure by diagonal ties.’
    1. 2.1North American
      short for cross tie
      • ‘The contamination in the soil in this project is mostly creosote, a product used on railway ties and telephone poles.’
      • ‘Colonel McDaniel said the base already spent $1 million of this money to replace some of the rails and rail ties.’
      • ‘This equipment also can be used to recycle railroad ties, telephone poles, pallets - all of which is removed from the nation's wastestream.’
      • ‘Rail workers drove the nails into ties to keep the historical record of construction.’
      • ‘Widely used in Europe and Japan, slab track connects track to a concrete slab instead of with traditional ties and ballast.’
      • ‘He made it out of four railroad ties, the 8 x 12 pieces of wood they lay down to support railroad tracks.’
      • ‘Wheels, axles and railroad ties were flung in all directions.’
      • ‘In 1900 alone, it's estimated that 15 to 20 million acres of forests were consumed to meet the demand for railroad ties.’
      • ‘We are ordering the rail, the ties, the switches, and so forth that we need to carry out next year's reconstruction program.’
      • ‘Some concrete ties were labeled Koppers, others KSA.’
      • ‘The speed limit on this section of heavier rail on concrete ties is 110 mph for conventional Amtrak trains.’
      • ‘CSX wasted no time dismantling the abandoned track as all rail and ties have been torn up and cleared from the property.’
      • ‘Mine sized rail was laid on ties to standard gauge width.’
      • ‘It was noted that they are currently working in the area placing double rails and new ties, along with other improvements.’
      • ‘The Katy was decommissioned in 1986 and its iron rails and wooden ties sold for scrap.’
      • ‘I remember the good old days on the Pullman sleepers when you could see the ties speeding by underneath you when you flushed the toilet.’
      • ‘The grave was closed, and railroad ties were placed above it.’
      • ‘However, stacks of concrete ties and welded rail by the right of way indicated extensive upgrading.’
      • ‘Then too, there was the railroad equipment itself, which it hoped to sell: rails, ties, cars, and locomotives.’
      • ‘The planned upgrades include replacing sections of rail and replacing most of the rail ties.’
    2. 2.2Music A curved line above or below two notes of the same pitch indicating that they are to be played for the combined duration of their time values.
      • ‘A curved line similar to the slur may be used to indicate a portamento effect; the same sign between two adjacent notes of the same pitch serves as a tie.’
      • ‘In a rush, he began writing, though he was careful as he drew in all of the notes and ties.’
  • 3usually tiesA thing that unites or links people:

    ‘it is important that we keep family ties strong’
    • ‘Again, strong social ties link members in the U.S. and India.’
    • ‘Studies consistently show that those who are socially isolated are two to five times the risk of dying from all causes compared to those who maintain strong ties with family, friends and community.’
    • ‘And that somehow sums up one of the big hidden strengths of India's diamond merchants: their strong family ties.’
    • ‘Evidence of strong economic or professional ties with home helps, too.’
    • ‘Our economic ties are strong, as are our people-to-people links.’
    • ‘They have to consider that this animal is capable of friendship and has strong family ties, and it feels compassion and it can be sympathetic and forgive.’
    • ‘It remains a close one, however, due to the strong ties linking members in the U.S., England, and India.’
    • ‘And of course, the U.S. and Japan have strong economic ties as well.’
    • ‘There are many families in Bulgaria with strong family ties to Israel, and, of course, vice versa.’
    • ‘Readers of Animal Times will gain new insight into the complex nature and strong family ties of these fascinating animals.’
    • ‘Noel, who hails from Wingfield, Knock, will reflect on his years growing up in Knock and his family's strong ties with the parish of Bekan.’
    • ‘Their lives were often founded on strong family ties and childhood friendships.’
    • ‘If the sharing of food fosters family and social ties, and strong family and social relationships are an integral part of civil society, statistics such as these should give us pause.’
    • ‘Here in England as in other developed countries family ties are not strong enough.’
    • ‘Strong extended family ties tend to exercise a restraint on deviant behavior, and family meetings are often called to settle problems before they become public.’
    • ‘Aborigines sustained a strong attachment to ties of family and kin, however, and continued to acknowledge a wide range of relationships.’
    • ‘Canada's finest rock 'n' roll act, The Sadies, have strong family ties.’
    • ‘Despite these connections, however, he has committed himself to living in Hollywood, because his immediate family ties are now so strong; he would lose custody of his son if he didn't.’
    • ‘The 30 year old lead singer was born in Reading, Berkshire but has strong family ties with Mayo.’
    • ‘Second, education provides a ‘bridge’ to social networks beyond the strong ties of family, friends, and neighbors.’
    bond, connection, link, liaison, attachment, association, kinship, affiliation, allegiance, friendship, cords, union, relationship, relatedness, interdependence
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    1. 3.1 A thing that restricts someone's freedom of action:
      ‘some cities and merchants were freed from feudal ties’
      • ‘Hurst was also delighted to hear of Super League's decision to back his proposal for a board of directors free of club ties.’
      • ‘Did Dr Ellis not feel that he should remain free of drug company ties?’
      • ‘Both are newcomers who claim to be free of special-interest ties.’
      • ‘However, following Government legislation relaxing the restrictive ties between pubs and the beer they sold, it has made less sense for breweries to hold onto these chains of pubs.’
      • ‘As contemporary commercial manuals never tired of complaining, they were free from all guild ties and all state regulation.’
      • ‘But he would not be teaching a monk, he would be teaching a boy without ties, without obligation.’
      • ‘The study, by the independent market analyst Datamonitor, found that people freed from the ties of their offspring and often at the peak of their careers will splash out on lavish treats for themselves.’
      • ‘First, they must be free from feudal ties, which would otherwise prevent them from entering any sort of market transaction.’
      • ‘They stayed in touch as they went on with their lives, but there were no fixed ties, no permanent commitments.’
      • ‘She doesn't have any ties or commitment to New York state.’
      • ‘Now, everything about higher education is about pulling students back into these ties and constraints.’
      • ‘From the dissolution of feudal ties emerge squabbling subjects nursing secret grievances, haughtily guarding caste privileges, or jealously policing petty distinctions.’
      • ‘Bourgeois monetary relations were breaking down the old feudal ties that had existed in England and which had been grounded in a largely subsistence agricultural economy.’
      • ‘That mantle fell instead upon the large middle-class house, in its own ample grounds but free from the ties of an estate.’
      • ‘The alleged problem has been that occasionally committee members have financial ties with companies producing the drugs or devices being examined.’
      • ‘The paper alleged 10 of the 32 committee members have financial ties to the pharmaceutical manufacturers involved.’
      • ‘They should sort these problems out by talking frankly about the benefits of a thaw in their ties, free from constraints imposed by their formal positions.’
      restriction, curb, limitation, constraint, obligation, commitment, restraint, hindrance, check, obstruction, encumbrance, impediment, handicap
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  • 4A strip of material worn round the collar and tied in a knot at the front with the ends hanging down, typically forming part of a man's smart or formal outfit:

    ‘his hand went up to his collar and started to loosen his tie’
    • ‘Wrap the wide end around and bring it up over and through the loop, between the collar and the tie.’
    • ‘He flipped up the collar of his shirt and tied a Windsor knot, then patted the tie and his collar flat again.’
    • ‘He was dressed well in a crisp black suit and clean white collared shirt with a tie, just as all the other men wore.’
    • ‘Both wore tan-colored pants, collared shirts, ties, and sweaters, though the colors were different.’
    • ‘Men generally wear Western-style trousers and shirts with jackets and ties for formal occasions.’
    • ‘He'd pulled off his jacket to reveal a nice ironed crisp white shirt, a dark tie secured at the collar.’
    • ‘When I see someone wearing a formal button-down collar with a tie, I just assume he went to an Ivy League college.’
    • ‘He tugged at the collar of his shirt, loosening his tie.’
    • ‘Tight fitting pinstripe suits are worn with pastel shirts in pink and blue and are finished off with cravats or wide ties.’
    • ‘Honestly, every man in western society needs to have at least one good suit and a couple of dress shirts and ties to go with it.’
    • ‘How they must have perspired underneath the fine suits, tight collars, silk ties and heavily starched shirts!’
    • ‘At The Mikado's rehearsals, the male actors have on formal jackets and ties and top hats, while the women wear dresses that would not look out of place at a lunch in a good restaurant.’
    • ‘His suit coat was long gone and his tie was hanging loose around his neck and his shirt sleeves were rolled up.’
    • ‘I take a step closer to him and fix his tie around the collar of his dress shirt, softly speaking each step as I do so.’
    • ‘But to get you started, we've selected four suits to show the range, with shirts and ties to pull the outfits together.’
    • ‘All the men still have their shirts buttoned up tight to the collar, their ties knotted, their hair slicked back.’
    • ‘He relaxed a little and walked down the hallway to his room, tugging at his tie until the knot loosened and he could slip it off.’
    • ‘We have a business casual dress code at my office, which means collared shirts without a tie.’
    • ‘That's right, suits: buttoned up shirts, stylish ties, smart trousers with matching fitted jackets.’
    • ‘During the summer months we have lots of shirt collars undone and ties at half mast.’
  • 5A result in a game or other competitive situation in which two or more competitors or teams have the same score or ranking; a draw:

    ‘there was a tie for first place’
    • ‘Once we did that we were the better team by miles for the next 90 minutes of the tie but they had scored early and that killed us.’
    • ‘Football is about playing in every situation, not just glamour football ties but bread-and-butter games.’
    • ‘Since 1997, the only time the American League didn't win was when the game ended in a tie.’
    • ‘If a game ends in a tie, both teams earn a chance to win, not just the team that wins a coin flip, as is the case in the NFL.’
    • ‘Both sides had a few chances, it was a well fought contest and a tie was the best result.’
    • ‘Maybe a draw would be the best result with an away tie at Bristol in front of a good crowd.’
    • ‘Even that could not separate the teams so a tie was declared and this was the fairest result for two teams who gave their all.’
    • ‘From the time the draws were made Sean Dempsey had targeted this game as the crucial tie of the championship.’
    • ‘If the game is a tie, or if there's any argument over the result, the players can use the 19th hole as the decider.’
    • ‘If by chance the first half ended in a tie, the score of the second half would determine the winner of the game.’
    • ‘At the close of the match, which resulted in a tie, Mr Price, the secretary of the Chiswick club, expressed the enjoyment their team had felt in coming to the shoot.’
    • ‘In the event of a tie, five-minute blitz games were to be played to ascertain the winner.’
    • ‘In the event of a tie, the game will be replayed on May 31 at Elland Road.’
    • ‘When six Premiership sides go head-to-head and the non-league teams are drawn in unspectacular ties, it doesn't help.’
    • ‘In the event of a tie for highest score, further hands are played with all four players taking part, until there is a single winner.’
    • ‘A tie would result in five points for each team, and the terms losing draw and winning draw, with Shackleton's grateful thanks, would be consigned to the dustbin.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the Clippers have rallied to a tie, and the game is going to overtime.’
    • ‘There will be a spate of midweek FA Cup replays following today's draw for the second qualifying round after three of the local clubs drew in Saturday's ties.’
    • ‘In the Majors, his best result had been a tie for 30th at The Open in 2001.’
    • ‘He eventually was declared the third out on a force play completed by Johnny Evers to end the game in a tie.’
    draw, dead heat, deadlock, stalemate
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    1. 5.1Cricket A game in which the scores are level and both sides have completed their innings, as distinct from a draw (a game left incomplete through lack of time).
      • ‘There was another thriller at Rowntrees when the game ended in a perfect tie with each side making 155-8.’
  • 6British A sports match between two or more players or teams in which the winners proceed to the next round of the competition:

    ‘Swindon Town have won themselves a third round tie against Oldham’
    • ‘The runners-up from the eight groups will play the first leg of their second round ties at home, which may offer a small advantage to their opponents.’
    • ‘On paper this is the easiest tie of the round but I'm not counting any chickens.’
    • ‘Had Liverpool hung on to beat Portsmouth at Anfield yesterday then they would also have secured the tie of the round.’
    • ‘Tonight they switch their attention to the Knockout Cup with a tough first round first leg tie against the league champions.’
    • ‘The first and most glaringly obvious complaint to make about this is that it means that some fifth round and quarter final ties will therefore have the capacity to have a replay, and some won't.’
    • ‘This is the biggest game of the season, it is the tie of the round, perhaps the whole competition, but you have to live in East Lancashire to understand the importance.’
    • ‘Fans of Northampton Town and Scarborough must be wringing their hands in anticipation of their clubs' fourth round ties against Manchester United and Chelsea respectively.’
    • ‘It's plainly obvious what the tie of the round is going to be.’
    • ‘They now face a second round tie against their B team.’
    • ‘Derby and Sunderland, both with healthy average home gates and attractive third round ties could manage scarcely more than 30,000 between them.’
    • ‘With a sixth round tie against Bolton awaiting the winner Mark believes a trip to the Reebok would be tougher than going to Highbury.’
    • ‘Had Shutt had a full contingent, Avenue would surely have won through this tough third qualifying round tie.’
    • ‘Waddilove Cup second round ties are set to be played on Sunday.’
    • ‘This week he was named Arriva Trains Cup Player of the Week for the fifth round ties.’
    • ‘All four Bradford clubs' interest in the Tetley's Yorkshire Cup came to an abrupt end in the second round ties.’
    • ‘Two other first round ties went to extra time, with 15 goals being scored in an extraordinary game at Waddington, where the home side pipped Ingleton 8-7.’
    • ‘Alex McLeish's side came off second best to the Russian champions in the first leg of their final qualifying round tie.’
    • ‘The debate about which is the tie of the round never really got started.’
    • ‘The eventual winners of this tie will entertain Worksop Town in the third round on Saturday, January 10.’
    • ‘The two sides have met in the FA Cup eight times and four times the winner of the tie has gone on to the final.’
    contest, fixture, match, game, event, trial, test, test match, meeting
    View synonyms


  • tie someone hand and foot

  • tie someone (up) in knots

    • informal Make someone completely confused:

      ‘journalists tied themselves in knots trying to define the word’
      • ‘I'm sorry, but I think Hunter is tying himself in knots here.’
      • ‘The last time that you and I faced one another in a Committee, in a slightly different atmosphere, you were sitting in the seat that I am sitting in and doing your best to tie me in knots at every opportunity.’
      • ‘I would like to see an insurance policy that always pays out what it promises. Or a home loan that doesn't tie you in knots with options and clauses.’
      • ‘My subconscious is trying to tie me in knots, but it won't work, though I half-wish it would.’
      • ‘That the administration had to handle it so carefully is a testament to how much the issue ties them in knots.’
      • ‘The United States Postal Service is tied in knots.’
      • ‘Tedious research is replaced by typing two or three words into that marvellous search machine ‘Google’, and difficult calculations no longer tie us in knots.’
      • ‘And now the writer's home city of Dublin is tied up in knots over its attempts to celebrate the centenary of the day on which his novel Ulysses is set - June 16, 1904.’
      • ‘A day on the water can calm nerves, rejuvenate the spirit and produce a general feeling of wellbeing, at least until we return to whatever tied us in knots in the first place.’
      • ‘I certainly wouldn't let them tie me in knots over the warranty, which probably isn't worth the inaccessible paper it's printed on.’
  • tie the knot

    • informal Get married.

      • ‘There was a rise of nearly 5% in the number of weddings in 2003 with 267,700 couples tying the knot in England and Wales according the Office of National Statistics.’
      • ‘Cohabitors still had a higher divorce rate and a higher level of discontent in their married life compared to couples who'd been living separately before tying the knot.’
      • ‘The couple - who each have been married twice before - tied the knot 11 years ago in a register office.’
      • ‘She said more and more couples were heading to Scotland to get married since Madonna and Ritchie tied the knot at Skibo castle in the Highlands in 2000.’
      • ‘They tied the knot soon afterwards and have been happily married for 16 years.’
      • ‘If you're planning on tying the knot, be prepared for the marriage tax penalty.’
      • ‘The couple were married for 42 years - tying the knot when Sylvia was 17 and John was 18.’
      • ‘When we met we had both already been married and we had a whirlwind romance of just six weeks before tying the knot.’
      • ‘It's easy to see why my mother fell in love with him when she was just 17, and married him - despite her own mother's misgivings - a year later, eloping to Scotland and tying the knot in secret.’
      • ‘He is 10 years older than me and has been married twice before, both times to women who turned out NOT to be nice people and about whom he had misgivings even before tying the knot.’
  • tie one on

    • informal Get drunk:

      ‘he is still known to tie one on occasionally’
      • ‘Not every night is a great night for tying one on and staying out till dawn.’
      • ‘He must have really tied one on last night, though he couldn't remember the details.’
      • ‘I don't drink but I feel like I tied one on the previous night.’
      • ‘They probably stayed too long at the bar - I'd seen them both tie one on more than once.’
      • ‘I guess Eddie really tied one on over the holidays.’
      • ‘The smart thing to do is to control your drinking and if you have to tie one on, do it on your dime, after the party.’
      • ‘Debbie ties one on with Jennifer, all in the name of life coaching.’
      • ‘Well, we were sitting in the lounge ‘tying one on’ as they say in some places and who should enter the lounge?’
      • ‘I really must have tied one on, he thought groggily.’
      • ‘And to answer your question, no, I didn't tie one on last night’

Phrasal Verbs

  • tie something in (or tie in)

    • Cause something to fit or harmonize with something else (or fit or harmonize with something):

      ‘her husband is able to tie in his shifts with hers at the hospital’
      ‘she may have developed ideas which don't necessarily tie in with mine’
      • ‘He has an interesting piece on the affair at History News Network, and ties it in to broader issues having to do with politics and the academy.’
      • ‘In Orkney it is tying a strength in archaeology to that subject's importance to local tourism.’
      • ‘Anyone who ties it in with football is deluding themselves.’
      be consistent, tally, correlate, agree, be in agreement, accord, concur, coincide, conform, fit in, harmonize, be in tune, dovetail
      correspond to, match, parallel, reflect, mirror
      fit in, harmonize, dovetail, match, mirror, make something consistent, make something correspond, make something tally, make something correlate, make something agree, make something accord, make something coincide, make something conform
      View synonyms
  • tie into

    • Attack or get to work on vigorously:

      ‘tie into breakfast now and let's get a move on’
      • ‘After we send the packs and skis over, Ken ties into the cord.’
      • ‘As everybody ties into the Internet, it is every citizen's responsibility to be aware of security issues.’
  • tie someone up

    • 1Bind someone so that they cannot move or escape:

      ‘robbers tied her up and ransacked her home’
      • ‘Miss Lees was tied up but managed to escape and hid from the gunman for several hours while he searched for her with his dog.’
      • ‘Alan was going to subdue him and tie Paul up with the rope he had taken off Kirby.’
      • ‘They tied them up and moved them to a part of the building adjacent to the canal bank where they remained bound with tape.’
      • ‘The robbers held them at gunpoint and tied them up before escaping with a substantial amount of jewellery.’
      • ‘They thought I was a spy and tied me up again, quite a bit more securely than last time.’
      • ‘He didn't expect to tie her up, but the ropes went around her wrists so easily.’
      • ‘I woke up, and after a moment realized that I wasn't tied up, and that I was moving.’
      • ‘Then we escaped and tied him up but he escaped and took the wagon and left.’
      • ‘He tied him up before attacking and binding the two other members of staff.’
      • ‘They'd tied her up with cables, which looked too strong to move.’
      bind, tie, tether, hitch, strap, truss, fetter, rope, chain, make fast, moor, lash, attach, fasten, fix, secure
      bind, tie up, tether, hitch, strap, truss, fetter, rope, chain, make fast, moor, lash, attach, fasten, fix, secure, join, connect, link, couple
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1informal Occupy someone to the exclusion of any other activity:
        ‘she would be tied up at the meeting all day’
        • ‘So you would be tied up in legal proceedings, rather than attending to a very serious health issue?’
        • ‘I didn't get a chance to dance with you last night; you were tied up with some man all evening.’
        • ‘It seems to be trying to spin out the process of weapons inspections for as long as possible, tying America up in a web of reports, discussions and UN diplomats.’
        • ‘If you are tied up on Hallowe'en you can still help out!’
        • ‘They don't take part in all the trial proceedings not because they are lazy but because they are tied up with other engagements.’
        occupy, engage, busy, keep busy, book, reserve, commit
        View synonyms
  • tie something up

    • 1Moor a boat:

      ‘they found two boats tied up alongside the wharf’
      • ‘Gohan tied the boat up while Camille and Marle waited for him.’
      • ‘And when that went, we just tied the boat up nearby so we could just get in and go.’
      • ‘But at the end of the first week in January, the weather is blowing hard and all boats are tied up.’
      • ‘Amy tied the boat up carefully at the dock once they arrived, and they all stood for a moment, looking out at the Island in the distance.’
      • ‘Peering over his shoulder, he noticed the thick coil of rope he used to tie the boat up.’
      • ‘Apparently the ship had gotten in a little earlier than usual and they were already tying it up to the docks.’
      • ‘Into the 1860s at least, because of the seasonality of the tourist trade, most boats were tied up, out of service, for more than half the year.’
      • ‘Fishing boats were tied up last week as crews earned a well-earned rest after a long haul from the last decent break at Christmas.’
      • ‘This week the container ship Southern Express arrived in port at the same time as a number of longline fishing vessels were tied up at the wharf.’
      • ‘He came up from Port Adelaide where the ship was tied up.’
    • 2Invest or reserve capital so that it is not immediately available for use:

      ‘money tied up in accounts must be left to grow’
      • ‘Most of his cash is tied up in gilts and guaranteed interest accounts, leaving only some free for share investment.’
      • ‘He has some money in a building society account, but a lot of his capital is tied up in shares.’
      • ‘That means you will have to tie your money up to draw down the full benefits.’
      • ‘‘The money is tied up for a fixed period, such as five years,’ says Barber.’
      • ‘This is because an equal, if not greater, proportion of our assets are tied up in share-related investments.’
      • ‘I wouldn't want to tie my money up for more than a couple of years.’
      • ‘You must usually tie your money up for the full term to benefit from capital protection.’
      • ‘One also has to consider risks as well as how long your money is tied up.’
      • ‘He had lots of money but most of it was tied up in fairly long term investments.’
      • ‘For most of them, a huge portion of their net worth is tied up in company stock or company stock options.’
      commit, make unavailable, invest long-term
      View synonyms
    • 3Bring something to a satisfactory conclusion; settle:

      ‘he said he had a business deal to tie up’
      • ‘At number two for Wigginton Paul Hargrave coasted to victory over David Campion tying the game up 3-0 for points.’
      • ‘I thought it was pretty good, and tied things up nicely.’
      • ‘It is understood the deal will be tied up within the next three months or so - despite indications that such a move would not be popular in the City.’
      • ‘The ending, when everyone finally goes to Canterbury, ties things up in a satisfactory, almost mystical fashion.’
      • ‘They probably realise that it is unlikely that they will be in office after the next election, and so they will see the benefit of tying this matter up in the courts.’
      • ‘Referring to the deal the day after it was tied up, he could barely contain his delight when he said: ‘I love it.’’
      • ‘All loose ends are tied up satisfactorily without feeling forced or phony.’
      • ‘I've heard about Middlesbrough coming in but to be honest, as far as we are concerned, we are confident the deal can be tied up.’
      • ‘I understand that loose ends had to be left for sequels, but the film seemed to pretend that said ends were tied up, making for a confusing conclusion to the movie.’
      • ‘The bulk of the loose ends are tied up in a kind of satisfying way.’
      finalize, conclude, bring to a conclusion, wind up, wrap up, complete, finish off, seal, set the seal on, settle, secure, clinch
      View synonyms


Old English tīgan (verb), tēah (noun), of Germanic origin.