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From Middle English untien, unteyen, untyȝen, untiȝen, from Old English untīġan (to untie), equivalent to un- +‎ tie.


  • IPA(key): /ʌnˈtaɪ/
  • Rhymes: -aɪ
    • (file)


untie (third-person singular simple present unties, present participle untying, simple past and past participle untied)

  1. (transitive) To loosen, as something interlaced or knotted; to disengage the parts of.
    to untie a knot
    • 1645, Edmund Waller, To Amoret
      Sacharissa's captive fain / Would untie his iron chain.
  2. (transitive) To free from fastening or from restraint; to let loose; to unbind.
    • c. 1605,, Shakespeare, Macbeth, act 4, scene 1:
      Though you untie the winds, and let them fight / Against the churches.
    • 1650, Jeremy Taylor, The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living
      All the evils of an untied tongue we put upon the accounts of drunkenness.
  3. To resolve; to unfold; to clear.
    • 1668, John Denham, Of Prudence (poem)
      They quicken sloth, perplexities untie.
  4. (intransitive) To become untied or loosed.
  5. (programming, transitive) In the Perl programming language, to undo the process of tying, so that a variable uses default instead of custom functionality.
    • 2002, Dave Roth, Win32 Perl Programming: The Standard Extensions (page 151)
      After you finish with the INI file, all you need to do is untie the hash. Then you really are finished!



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