Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English tether, teder, from Old English *tēoder and/or Old Norse tjóðr ( > Danish tøjr); 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).


  • IPA(key): /ˈtɛðə(ɹ)/
  • (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 termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. 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 a tether.
  2. (Internet) to connect a cellular smartphone to another personal computer in order to give it access to a hotspot.
  3. to connect something to something else. (clarification of this definition is needed)
    • 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.