WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
tie /taɪ/USA pronunciation v., tied, ty•ing,n. 

  • [+ object] to bind or fasten with a cord, etc.:to tie a bundle.
  • to fasten by tightening and knotting (the strings of): [+ object]He stopped to tie his shoes.[no object]Her dress tied in the back.
  • [+ object] to form by looping and lacing parts of together, as a knot:tied a bow and attached it to the package.
  • [+ object] to bind or join firmly:Great affection tied them.
  • [+ object] to confine or restrict:The weather tied us to the house.
  • to make the same score (as another); be equal (to) in a contest: [no object]The two teams tied and had to play an extra period.[+ object]Suddenly the other team tied the score.
  • tie down, to restrict the freedom or actions of (someone); confine: [+ object + down]The desk job ties him down.[+ down + object]to tie down his workers.
  • tie in, [no object; ~ + in ( + with + object)]to be consistent or agree with:His story ties in with the facts as we know them.
  • tie up: 
    • to fasten tightly or securely by tying: [+ up + object]The hijackers tied up all the hostages.[+ object + up]They tied them up.
    • to wrap and secure, as with string; bind: [+ up + object]to tie up a package.[+ object + up]to tie a package up.
    • [+ object] to hinder or bring to a stop; impede:The accident tied up traffic.
    • [+ object] to prevent others from using by using (exclusively) oneself:tied up the phone all morning.
    • to make (money) unavailable for further investment, use in business, etc.: [+ up + object]They tied up their money in real estate.[+ object + up]They tied their money up in real estate.
    • [+ up + object] to connect; show that there is a relationship between:The detective managed to tie up the loose ends of the case.
    • [+ object;
      usually: be + tied + up]
      to be completely occupied with something:The boss is tied up till noon.

    n. [countable]
  • a cord, string, or the like, used for tying, fastening, or wrapping something.
  • that with which anything is tied.
  • Clothinga necktie:Your tie is crooked.
  • Clothingan ornamental knot; bow.
  • a bond, as of affection:family ties.
  • a state in which the same number of points has been scored, etc., among competitors;
    also, a competition that ends in such a state:The game ended in a tie.
  • Buildinga piece used to support buildings or to keep railroad tracks in line.
  • idiom
    1. Idiomstie one on, [no object][Slang.]to get drunk.
    2. Idiomstie the knot, [Informal.]to marry.

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    tie up vb (adverb)
    1. (transitive) to attach or bind securely with or as if with string, rope, etc
    2. to moor (a vessel)
    3. (tr; often passive) to engage the attentions of
    4. (tr; often passive) to conclude (the organization of something)
    5. to come or bring to a complete standstill
    6. (transitive) to invest or commit (funds, etc) and so make unavailable for other uses
    7. (transitive) to subject (property) to conditions that prevent sale, alienation, or other action
    n tie-up
    1. a link or connection
    2. chiefly US Canadian a standstill
    3. chiefly US Canadian
      an informal term for traffic jam

    'tie up' also found in these entries:

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