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Alternative forms[edit]


From a merger of Middle English tiding, tidinge, from Late Old English tīdung, with Middle English tidinde, tidende, from or influenced by Old Norse tíðindi (news, tidings),[1] both connected to Old English tīdan (to befall; happen). Though it is sometimes assumed that the form in -ind/-end is original and later assimilated to -ing,[2] the cognates Dutch tijding and German Zeitung point to inheritance from Proto-West Germanic *tīdungō. By surface analysis, tide (time) +‎ -ing.



tiding (plural tidings)

  1. (archaic or literary, usually in the plural) news; new information
    • c. 1515–1516, published 1568, John Skelton, Againſt venemous tongues enpoyſoned with ſclaunder and falſe detractions &c.:
      For men be now tratlers and tellers of tales;
      What tidings at Totnam, what newis in Wales,
      What ſhippis are ſailing to Scalis Malis?
      And all is not worth a couple of nut ſhalis.
    • 1843 April, Thomas Carlyle, “Ch. 2, St. Edmundsbury”, in Past and Present, American edition, Boston, Mass.: Charles C[offin] Little and James Brown, published 1843, →OCLC, book II (The Ancient Monk):
      But yet it is pity we had lost tidings of our souls: actually we shall have to go in quest of them again, or worse in all ways will befall!
    • 19th century, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”:
      Glad tidings we bring / To you and your kin.
    • 2022 January 12, Dr. Joseph Brennan, “Castles: ruined and redeemed by rail”, in RAIL, number 948, page 57:
      In the same year as the Furness objection, sadder tidings befell St Pancras Priory at Lewes, in East Sussex. Despite it having the distinction of being the earliest Cluniac monastery in Great Britain, petitions to prevent the Brighton Lewes & Hastings Railway from imposing on its site with its Lewes line failed. The line was approved and, as if as an act of deliberate desecration and assertion of the railways' power, passed over the site of the high altar.




  1. present participle and gerund of tide


  1. ^ tidings”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
  2. ^ T.F. Hoad, Concise Dictionary of English Etymology, →ISBN, s.v. tidings