What word or phrase does your mother always say?


[uhn-tahy] /ʌnˈtaɪ/
verb (used with object), untied, untying.
to loose or unfasten (anything tied); let or set loose by undoing a knot.
to undo the string or cords of.
to undo, as a cord or a knot; unknot.
to free from restraint.
to resolve, as perplexities.
verb (used without object), untied, untying.
to become untied.
Origin of untie
before 1000; Middle English untyen, Old English untīegan. See un-2, tie
Can be confused
unite, untie. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for untie
  • The amity that wisdom knits not, folly may easily untie.
  • They're excellent bed warmers, and small fingers can untie hopeless knots.
  • Before you marry beware, for it is a knot difficult to untie.
  • To a couple interested only in the fastest way to untie the knot, the question may seem to be an unimportant technicality.
  • When the dripping stops, untie and check the consistency.
  • Either you untie the hands of the police and the law-abiding community, or you suffer the consequences.
  • Leave one end with a bow knot so that you can untie it easily.
  • Move adjacent boats away from the fire area but don't untie burning boats to drift away.
  • Line handlers tie up incoming ships and untie lines to let go of outgoing ships.
  • So, if you must try tying a knot for yourself, please untie the knot when you are done.
British Dictionary definitions for untie


verb -ties, -tying, -tied
to unfasten or free (a knot or something that is tied) or (of a knot or something that is tied) to become unfastened
(transitive) to free from constraint or restriction
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for untie

Old English untiegan, from un- (2) + tie (v.). Related: Untied; untying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for untie

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for untie

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with untie

Nearby words for untie