1 [tahyd]
the periodic rise and fall of the waters of the ocean and its inlets, produced by the attraction of the moon and sun, and occurring about every 12 hours.
the inflow, outflow, or current of water at any given place resulting from the waves of tides.
a stream or current.
anything that alternately rises and falls, increases and decreases, etc.: the tide of the seasons.
current, tendency, or drift, as of events or ideas: the tide of international events.
any extreme or critical period or condition: The tide of her illness is at its height.
a season or period in the course of the year, day, etc. (now used chiefly in combination): wintertide; eventide.
Ecclesiastical. a period of time that includes and follows an anniversary, festival, etc.
Archaic. a suitable time or occasion.
Obsolete. an extent of time.
verb (used without object), tided, tiding.
to flow as the tide; flow to and fro.
to float or drift with the tide.
verb (used with object), tided, tiding.
to carry, as the tide does.
Verb phrases
tide over,
to assist in getting over a period of difficulty or distress.
to surmount (a difficulty, obstacle, etc.); survive.
turn the tide, to reverse the course of events, especially from one extreme to another: The Battle of Saratoga turned the tide of the american revolution.

before 900; Middle English (noun); Old English tīd time, hour; cognate with Dutch tijd, German Zeit, Old Norse tīth; akin to time

tideful, adjective
tideless, adjective
tidelessness, noun
tidelike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged


2 [tahyd]
verb (used without object), tided, tiding. Archaic.
to happen or befall.

before 1000; Middle English tiden, Old English tīdan. See betide

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tide1 (taɪd)
1.  tide-generating force neap tide See also spring tide the cyclic rise and fall of sea level caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon. There are usually two high tides and two low tides in each lunar day
2.  the current, ebb, or flow of water at a specified place resulting from these changes in level: the tide is coming in
3.  ebb See flood
4.  a widespread tendency or movement: the tide of resentment against the government
5.  a critical point in time; turning point: the tide of his fortunes
6.  dialect (Northern English) a fair or holiday
7.  (in combination) a season or time: Christmastide
8.  rare any body of mobile water, such as a stream
9.  archaic a favourable opportunity
10.  to carry or be carried with or as if with the tide
11.  (intr) to ebb and flow like the tide
[Old English tīd time; related to Old High German zīt, Old Norse tīthr time]

tide2 (taɪd)
archaic (intr) to happen
[Old English tīdan; related to Old Frisian tīdia to proceed to, Middle Low German tīden to hurry, Old Norse tītha to desire]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. tid "point or portion of time, due time," from P.Gmc. *tidiz "division of time" (cf. O.S. tid, Du. tijd, O.H.G. zit, Ger. Zeit "time"), from PIE *di-ti- "division, division of time," suffixed form of base *da- "to divide, cut up" (cf. Skt. dati "cuts, divides;" Gk. demos "people, land," perhaps
lit. "division of society;" daiesthai "to divide;" O.Ir. dam "troop, company"). Meaning "rise and fall of the sea" (1340) is probably via notion of "fixed time," specifically "time of high water;" either a native evolution or from M.L.G. getide (cf. also Du. tij, Ger. Gezeiten "flood tide"). O.E. had no specific word for this, using flod and ebba to refer to the rise and fall. The verb meaning "to carry (as the tide does)" is recorded from 1626, usually with over.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

tide (tīd)
An alternate increase and decrease, as of levels of a substance in the blood or digestive tract.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
tide  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (tīd)  Pronunciation Key 
The regular rise and fall in the surface level of the Earth's oceans, seas, and bays caused by the gravitational attraction of the Moon and to a lesser extent of the Sun. The maximum high tides (or spring tides) occur when the Moon and Sun are directly aligned with Earth, so that their gravitational pull on Earth's waters is along the same line and is reinforced. The lowest high tides (or neap tides) occur when the Moon and Sun are at right angles to each other, so that their gravitational pull on Earth's waters originates from two different directions and is mitigated. Tides vary greatly by region and are influenced by sea-floor topography, storms, and water currents. See also ebb tide, flood tide, neap tide, spring tide.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idiom beginning with tide, also see stem the tide; swim against the current (tide); swim with the tide; time and tide; turn of the tide.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Alternating current performed so well at the fair that the technological tide
They sit on piles drilled into the riverbed, and at low tide are six feet below
  the surface.
Purple starfish glisten on the rocks waiting for the tide to return.
But it is worth remembering that this is a tide that has risen in the past,
  only to ebb again.
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