Definition of untie in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Undo or unfasten (a cord or knot)

    ‘she knelt to untie her laces’
    • ‘My current shoelaces haven't been untied for at least a year and are getting a bit ragged, so I thought it was time for some new ones.’
    • ‘He picked up the small parcel and untied the string around it.’
    • ‘He reaches down and starts untying her other bootlace and gently pulling her boots and socks off, massaging her feet and ankles as he does.’
    • ‘She untied the bloodstained black bandana from his neck.’
    • ‘When she wishes to punish anyone she gives them a basket of one hundred pairs of shoes all with the laces tied in a hundred tight knots and makes them sit and untie every one.’
    • ‘I untied the red ribbon that bound the black box and excitedly opened the lid to find a gorgeous strand of delicate, white diamonds.’
    • ‘Finally, she untied the knot and let the dress tumble to a pile at her feet.’
    • ‘His hands slipped behind my ears and untied my blindfold.’
    • ‘She stood up and began untying the binds to her dress.’
    • ‘Nelson has something with shoelaces; he enjoys untying everybody's shoelaces to annoy them.’
    • ‘Jim untied the rope that was fastened to it and lit it.’
    • ‘‘You know, they really shouldn't torture you,’ said the girl who had finished untying the first of three knots.’
    • ‘She is the largest and nicest doll I have ever had, but I will never undress her or untie the red ribbons under her chin.’
    • ‘As soon as it's tied, I untie and unwrap it again, and set it down on the pedestal.’
    • ‘I quickly untied the rope that was bound around her body, then worked on her hands and ankles.’
    • ‘Princess Grace, ever so carefully, untied the golden silk cords to the snow white carrying cloth, in which her dagger was kept.’
    • ‘He quickly untied the cord that held the dress in place.’
    • ‘He pulled off the ribbon, carefully untying the bow so as not to damage it and pulled away the tissue paper from a small plastic case, and he knew from the company logo embossed on the lid that the box contained a watch.’
    • ‘Leanne grinned and obeyed, untying the floppy pink bow, and lifting the lid off the box slowly.’
    • ‘They clambered into the little wooden boat and she instructed her to carefully begin untying the knot that secured her side of the boat.’
    undo, unknot, unbind, unfasten, unwrap, unlace, untether, unfetter, unhitch, unmoor
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Undo a cord or similar fastening that binds (someone or something)
      ‘Morton untied the parcel’
      • ‘Meanwhile, Mark had untied himself, walked to the N2 and hitched a ride to the Kabega Park police station.’
      • ‘I worked the ropes around my left wrist loose, then untied myself.’
      • ‘As the Israeli unties the others, they ask him, ‘Why didn't you just shoot them?’
      • ‘He untied Serena and told her to change her bloodied top, answer the door and say nothing.’
      • ‘He said he was able to untie himself and swim to a nearby boat.’
      • ‘He managed to untie himself, came over to tell us and the landlord was so mad he took off after the men with his machete.’
      • ‘Her perch was enough to give her respite and stop the rope cutting into her chest, but she was still unable to untie herself.’
      • ‘He asked whether completely untying all of the pallets on the trailer before beginning to unload them was standard operating procedure.’
      • ‘He untied Jen, seeming to no longer care if she escaped.’
      • ‘The woman managed to untie herself when the raiders left with what is believed to be a relatively small sum of money.’
      • ‘I started tightening saddles and untying the biggest camp items from the packhorse.’
      • ‘After untying a huge black steed that was apparently his, Kirik helped her find one.’
      • ‘They had obviously untied themselves, particularly as there was nothing to hold them still.’
      • ‘He had then become so weakened by dehydration and lack of food that he was unable to untie himself.’
      • ‘The pirates untied themselves and staggered to their feet.’
      • ‘One of the workers managed to untie himself and called the police.’
      • ‘She stood, halfway through the untying of the corset, and answered the door, despite Anna's urges to finish untying her first.’
      • ‘She untied Arin and rubbed his wrists and ankles to get the circulation going again.’
      • ‘She said the attack lasted only seconds before he let her go and she managed to untie herself.’
      • ‘And because the sun wasn't there to allow us to be seen by others, we saw no harm in untying one of the boats and just taking off with it.’


Old English untīgan (see un-, tie).