tie (one) down(redirected from tying down)
tie (one) down
To constrain, restrict, impede, or limit one's ability to do something or go somewhere. I would love to try something different, but my career has really tied me down. I just don't think my experience applies to any other profession. The company is trying to tie us down with appeals and injunctions to keep the lawsuit from reaching a court. Once you're tied down with kids, travel anywhere becomes extremely difficult.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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 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.
Fig. restricted by responsibilities. I love my home, but sometimes I don't like being tied down. I don't feel tied down, even though I have a lot of responsibility.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.