Tide someone over vs tied someone over

The earliest known use of the idiom to tide someone over occurred in 1821. We will examine the definition of the phrase tide someone over, where it probably came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

To tide someone over means to furnish a necessity such as money or food to someone who has run short on supplies, in order to sustain them until a payday of some sort. People sometimes need something to tide them over when an unexpected emergency wrecks their budget, or simply because they do not earn enough money to live on. Sometimes, to tide someone over is used to mean to feed them a snack to sustain them until it is time for a meal. The idiom to tide someone over is derived from a seafaring term. Sailors would sometimes depend on the tide to carry them over obstacles. This use of the term tide over is recorded as early as the 1600s. In time, tide over took on a figurative sense, meaning to get through some obstacles in life.

Tied someone over is a misspelling of the phrase tide someone over. Remember, the correct spelling has its roots in a nautical sense and should be spelled as tide someone over.


At any point in the day, you can probably find me nibbling snacks at my desk to tide me over until my next meal. (The Business Insider)

“I normally have enough to tide me over until I get the child support funds deposited, but because of Christmas, I was just really behind,” Akashian said. (The Lowell Sun)

“Wonder Woman can probably tide me over for at least a year, and I understand that this war was dominated by brave male soldiers.” (The Telegraph)