Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.
tie someone down (to someone or something)
Fig. to encumber something with someone or something; to make someone responsible to or for someone or something. Please don't tie me down to your uncle. Let your sister help out. Yes, don't tie me down all week.
tie someone or something down
to fasten someone or something down by tying or binding. The robbers tied Gary down so he couldn't get up and get away. They tied down Gary.
tie somebody downalso tie down somebody
to limit someone's freedom We were tied down by an impossible schedule and had to put off all vacations. He always thought marriage would tie him down and said it was too bad he was so stupid for so long.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of tie down (to hold in place with rope)
Constrain, confine, or limit, as in As long as the children were small, she was too tied down to look for a job. [Late 1600s]
1. To fix or hold someone or something in place with a cord, rope, or strap: We tied down the deck chairs so they wouldn't blow away. I tied the luggage down so that it wouldn't fall off the roof of the car.
2. To restrict someone or something in movement: Our new baby has really tied us down—we haven't eaten out for dinner in months. The rebels have tied down the government troops in the mountains, leaving the capital vulnerable to attack. I'd like to travel more, but unfortunately, I'm tied down with a job.