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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English tether, teder, from Old English *tēoder and/or Old Norse tjóðr ( > Danish tøjr, Swedish tjuder); both from Proto-Germanic *teudrą (rope; cord; shaft), of uncertain origin. Perhaps from Proto-Indo-European *dewtro-, from Proto-Indo-European *dew- (to tie), or from Proto-Indo-European *dewk- (to pull). Cognate with North German Tüder (tether for binding the cattle), Swedish tjuder (tether for binding cattle).


  • IPA(key): /ˈtɛðɚ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛðə(ɹ)


tether (plural tethers)

  1. a rope, cable etc. that holds something in place whilst allowing some movement
  2. (nautical, sailing) a strong rope or line that connects a sailor's safety harness to the boat's jackstay
  3. (by extension) the limit of one's abilities, resources etc.
  4. (dialect) The cardinal number three in an old counting system used in Teesdale and Swaledale. (Variant of tethera)


Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


tether (third-person singular simple present tethers, present participle tethering, simple past and past participle tethered)

  1. To restrict something with or as if with a tether.
  2. To connect something to something else.
    • 2019 May 12, Alex McLevy, “Westeros faces a disastrous final battle on the penultimate Game of Thrones (newbies)”, in The A.V. Club[1]:
      The younger Targaryen feels as though she’s lost any intimacy that tethered her to compassion and humanity, and so all that remains is the imperious need to rule that has driven her all these years, now bereft of the warmth that previously tempered her.
    1. (Internet) to connect a smartphone to a personal computer in order to give the phone access to the computer's Internet connection; the opposite of a mobile hotspot.