Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word


 - definition

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb American English pronunciation: tie /taɪ/ 
Word Forms
present tense
present participletying
past tensetied
past participletied
  1. 1
    [transitive] to make a knot with two ends of a piece of string, rope, etc.

    Sally bent down to tie her shoelaces.

    We're teaching him how to tie a necktie.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to fasten something in a particular place using something such as rope

      Her hands were tied behind her back.

      I always tie my hair back when I'm cooking.

      Jan tied his bike onto the back of the car.

    2. b.
      [transitive] to use something such as string to fasten several things together

      She handed them two packages tied with string.

      Tie the flowers into small bunches.

    3. c.
  2. 2
    [transitive] to combine things, or to form a connection between them

    This series ties together events from the past and present.

    closely tied:

    Portugal's economy is closely tied to Spain's.

  3. 3
    [intransitive/transitive] if two players or teams in a game tie, they both have the same number of points

    The game was tied 1–1 after nine innings.

    tie for first/second etc. place:

    They tied for first place, with a time of 25.64 seconds.

  4. 4
    [transitive] [usually passive] if something ties you to a particular place or situation, you cannot leave it

    Many young mothers feel tied to the home and children.

    An open ticket means you are not tied to returning on a particular day.


dark pool

a method of financial trading in which share prices are hidden and not openly available to the public

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day


money, food, or clothes given to poor people

Open Dictionary


to post a tweet, usually a negative one, that mentions a person without using the @ sign, so that they will not see the message on their Twitter feed …

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog