Definition of tide in English:



  • 1The alternate rising and falling of the sea, usually twice in each lunar day at a particular place, due to the attraction of the moon and sun.

    ‘the changing patterns of the tides’
    [mass noun] ‘they were driven on by wind and tide’
    • ‘All day, the Atlantic churned and the tide surged under the narrow strip of land that separates the ocean from the Gulf of Mexico.’
    • ‘Sibyl glanced back at the rising and falling tides of the English Channel, and sighed with the grace of a heavy heart.’
    • ‘However, while we had been diving, the tide had fallen.’
    • ‘The ebb and flow of tides, swinging winds, and rising and falling ocean swells create the changing rhythms of a surfer's life.’
    • ‘The highest high tides, called the semilunar tides, occur twice a month around the times of the full and new moon.’
    • ‘As any diver knows, such tides occur only twice a month.’
    • ‘The vessel departed on the evening tide the following day.’
    • ‘She fell asleep as the tide slowly climbed, gripping the wet sand with her fingers.’
    • ‘Misconceptions about such things as the moon's effect on tides have contributed to lunar mythology.’
    • ‘But access to the port basin lay through channels where the tide fell 32 feet twice daily.’
    • ‘Then as the tide turns a surge of muddy water rushes upstream, ever swifter.’
    • ‘Aborigines explain the relationship of the tides and the moon also.’
    • ‘For instance he learned the effect of the moon on the tides.’
    • ‘A powerful tide is surging through rural India.’
    • ‘The tide had fallen, which revealed another part of the hidden area.’
    • ‘They must know how the winds and the tides work together.’
    • ‘An arrow indicates whether the tide is rising or falling.’
    • ‘The rise and fall of tides vary around the world.’
    • ‘In 1879, a causeway was built to the island, sparing pilgrims and day trippers both the effort of trudging across the sands, and the danger of the fast and powerful local tides.’
    • ‘This was a beautiful morning, with a rising tide and no wind.’
    1. 1.1The water as affected by this.
      ‘the rising tide covered the wharf’
      • ‘As the tide ebbs the sea water starts to drain from the river, making visible the runs and likely lies of fish just in from the Atlantic.’
      • ‘After a lot of messing around in the sand and seeing who could get the furthest into the water before the tide came back in, we were completely soaked and decided to crash at my place for the night.’
      • ‘The fast tides and coloured waters of the Severn Estuary pull cod in like bargain hunters to the sales.’
      • ‘Of course the abductee lives in an ramshackle farmhouse on an island that gets surrounded by water as the tides come in.’
      • ‘The structure would be built over the water, allowing the tide to ebb and flow unhindered.’
      • ‘They were sitting at the beach, watching the tide as it covered them up to about the waist in its waves every few seconds, and watching the sunset.’
      • ‘He related his own experience of how people can get caught out, unaware of the danger because it is the area nearest the shore that gets covered by water first as the tide comes in.’
      • ‘When the biplane was pushed out of the hangar, the incoming tide covered the tidal flat making it necessary to cancel the flight.’
      • ‘This is to say that if you leave a dingy in shallow water and the tide goes out, leaving your boat on the sand, you have committed an offence which carries a fine.’
      • ‘Most tope fishing is done either by casting baits uptide away from the boat, or deep dropping baits in areas of fast tides and deep water.’
      • ‘They have so many different fish to go for and the fish fight so hard in the tide and shallow water.’
      • ‘A spray of water from the incoming tide wets us, waking me up from whatever crazy thoughts were consuming me.’
      • ‘This is due to strong tides carrying goodie-laden water to them.’
      • ‘The construction of canals causes an increase in the velocity of incoming tides and also outgoing water, therefore increasing the risk of erosion.’
      • ‘Weights for bottom fishing need not be too heavy as most of the fishing is done in less that fifteen feet of water and the local tides are not very fierce.’
      • ‘As they go farther into the water, the tide pushes them downstream.’
      • ‘Basically, it's just a dam built across a bay, which opens as the tide is coming in, and then closes and traps the accumulated water as the tide moves out.’
      • ‘On another day, light and variable winds, combined with strong tides, affected competition.’
      • ‘Instead the building could straddle it, getting its feet in the water and feeling the tides.’
      • ‘When the tide rises and water moves up the channel, the basin fills, and small fish and larvae (food for the birds) enter the pond.’
      tidal flow, ebb and flow, flood, water, tidewater, tide race, ebb, surge, current, stream, movement
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    2. 1.2A powerful surge of feeling or trend of events.
      ‘he drifted into sleep on a tide of euphoria’
      ‘we must reverse the growing tide of racism sweeping the country’
      • ‘We knew, though, that we were a minority swimming against a powerful tide of patriotic pomposity.’
      • ‘The tide of events indeed turned in favour of peace.’
      • ‘The film's portrayal of a powerless woman dragged along by the tide of events doesn't lend itself to edge of the seat plot twists.’
      • ‘Whether alive or dead, young or old, black or white - the tribute tide has surged.’
      • ‘Kerry has pledged to reverse the tide of modern economics by doing exactly this.’
      • ‘Mr Thomas is making vigorous efforts to reverse the tide of abuse that has been coming his way recently.’
      • ‘Although increasingly stranded politically by the ebbing tide of socialism, he has refused to tone down his rabble-rousing rhetoric.’
      • ‘And they are right that the tide of globalization, powerful as the engines driving it may be, can be turned back.’
      • ‘It was another bizarre sight but even the half-time whistle, once it finally came, did little to stem the tide of extraordinary events.’
      • ‘If we were to reverse the tide of depression, we needed a society that was well informed about depression.’
      • ‘On both these occasions, though for very different reasons, the mourners and the mourned were swept together by a powerful tide of emotion.’
      • ‘Only time will tell how long it can maintain its resilience against the powerful tide of the free market.’
      • ‘He warned that the tide of economic and social change would leave Swindon washed up, stranded and decaying if progress was not made with plans to overhaul the centre soon.’
      • ‘I stared at him almost speechless as a tide of emotion surged to me.’
      • ‘Kimmel believes more agents will mean more arrests and more progress against the tide of illegal immigration.’
      • ‘Ministers hoping to reverse the tide of binge-drinking believe it will bring an end to the 11 pm rush.’
      • ‘The tide of new developments has seen councillors warning of a melt-down for the town's overstretched infrastructure.’
      • ‘This alliance of irreconcilable economic ideologies was bound to sunder and cede to a powerful tide of neo-liberalism.’
      • ‘He's a little man swept up in the tide of big events.’
      • ‘Generally, only those Greek cafes in major recreational and tourist regions have survived the sweeping tide of change.’
      course, movement, direction, trend, current, drift, run, turn, tendency, tenor, swing
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[NO OBJECT]archaic
  • 1 Drift with or as if with the tide.

    1. 1.1(of a ship) float or drift in or out of a harbor by taking advantage of favoring tides.


  • turn the tide

    • Reverse the trend of events.

      ‘the air power that helped to turn the tide of battle’
      • ‘As millions of toxic jellyfish lay siege to the beaches of the Mediterranean, coastal communities are battling to turn the tide.’
      • ‘The opportunity to turn the tide of obesity and chronic disease begins by recognizing that we have created a perfect storm of obesity-causing factors.’
      • ‘So the question must continue to be: what can turn the tide?’
      • ‘It's a victory in the global war on terror, and it is an opportunity for Iraq's new government to turn the tide of this struggle.’
    • see tide
      • ‘A battle was waged which turned the tide of the Second World War.’
      • ‘Howard's commitment to the community may be what turns the tide.’
      • ‘They were widely credited with turning the tide of that war.’
      • ‘They are slowly, modestly, turning the tide.’
      • ‘The Code Talkers were honored for creating a code which was credited with saving thousands of lives and turning the tide of decisive battles in the Pacific theater.’
      • ‘The National Commissioner said the police were turning the tide against crime and that this trend would continue.’
      • ‘Villagers have succeeded in turning the tide of village shop closures by opening a community shop and post office.’
      • ‘I am writing to you to ask for your help in turning the tide.’
      • ‘The manager looked capable of turning the tide as he pulled all the strings.’
      • ‘We will join with you in turning the tide against AIDS in Africa.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • tide someone over

    • Help someone through a difficult period, especially with financial assistance.

      ‘she needed a small loan to tide her over’
      • ‘But here's a little something to tide you over for a bit.’
      • ‘I knew that I had food in the case, as we always pack some to tide us over until we find a food shop.’
      • ‘In the meantime, Boyle also asked for another loan to tide him over.’
      • ‘For the landed gentry, it was usually a snack to tide you over between luncheon and a late dinner.’
      • ‘Mr Keating, who has two teenage children, says the minimum payouts he and his fellow employees will receive will only tide them over while they look for another job.’
      • ‘This is to tide them over for a period, unless they get work.’
      • ‘The pre-Christmas shopping frenzy shifts into high gear this week, with many families relying on their credit cards to tide them over this expensive period.’
      • ‘We need to get the resources where we can to tide us over until the nurses come through the system.’
      • ‘To tide him over financially, he took a job with a radio station, and found that he had a natural flair for the microphone and he soon hosted his own show on Talk Radio.’
      • ‘‘My husband took redundancy last year and that helped tide us over,’ she said.’
      sustain, keep someone going, keep someone's head above water, see someone through
      keep the wolf from the door, bridge the gap, keep someone in funds
      help out, assist, aid
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Old English tīd time, period, era of Germanic origin; related to Dutch tijd and German Zeit, also to time. The sense relating to the sea dates from late Middle English.