Definition of tether in English:



[with object]
  • 1Tie (an animal) with a rope or chain so as to restrict its movement.

    ‘the horse had been tethered to a post’
    • ‘He followed her calmly towards the stakes where the other horses were tethered and being watched.’
    • ‘Elephants are tethered by chains so people can climb on them for a cute photo for a fee of 10 yuan.’
    • ‘A docile Labrador dog was tethered five metres away from its owner, who was disguised as a tradesman.’
    • ‘Rings for tethering the sheep are still embedded in the wall of Borris Estate, opposite Cosgrove's shop.’
    • ‘With their enormous size, some whales could not be loaded onto the ships and were instead tethered to the ships and towed.’
    • ‘Cows were tethered near the wall, to provide milk, ghee and cow dung for the rituals.’
    • ‘They tethered their horses, leaving the most junior patrolman to stand guard, and Inkerman led the way in.’
    • ‘Mrs Cruddas said one simple solution in Hull Road would be for the grass to be regularly cut - thereby removing any incentive to tether the horses there.’
    • ‘He still makes traditional cow bands, used by farmers for tethering cattle and other farm jobs, out of Egyptian flax on an old-fashioned rope-making sled and top.’
    • ‘Lancaster drew rein, tethering his horse in the thicket of pine just off the crest of the hill.’
    • ‘Firefighters were bemused to wake up and find a large brown and white horse tethered by a rope to their station.’
    • ‘The water wasn't too cold, so they took off their riding boots and rolled up their riding pants, then waded for a while in the cool water, tethering the mares to a nearby tree.’
    • ‘Caravans and vans were parked in front of the new offices at the far end of the industrial estate, and four horses were tethered there.’
    • ‘The building they stayed in had already been looted bare, with straw lining the floor for newcomers to sleep on, and the wooden pillar at the base of the broken stairs used to tether horses.’
    • ‘Kara hitched up the trap and Anana tethered her horse to the rear of it and joined her friend.’
    • ‘The trees in question were certainly a fine stand of eucalypts, over by the Ivanhoe road, and I knew Laura liked to go riding in that direction, to tether her horse and wander amongst the silvery patterned trunks.’
    • ‘Mala groaned, picked up her bedroll, and moved to where their horses were tethered.’
    • ‘He agilely jumped off and tethered his horse to a bar that had seemingly been placed there for that specific purpose.’
    • ‘Tess had been tethering her horse when she heard shouting over the hill, a car door being slammed, and finally the crunch of wheels on gravel as a car reversed and sped away.’
    • ‘Two men were sleeping there, one on either side of the fire, and one horse was tethered on a lead rope.’
    tie, tie up, hitch, rope, chain
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  • 2Use (a smartphone) in order to connect a computer or other device to the Internet.

    ‘check if Wi-Fi access is free in the lobby or tether your phone’
    • ‘Tethering is a feature that lets your mobile phone share its wireless data connection with your computer.’
    • ‘Would-be users reacted with annoyance and frustration, querying the need for extra charges for tethering, and the high prices of the phones.’
    • ‘Tethering will thus not be enabled until AT & T upgrades its service.’
    • ‘For tethering, we need to do some additional fine-tuning to our systems and networks so that we do deliver a great experience.’
    • ‘They still haven't even allowed tethering which was supposed to have been released 2 years ago!’
    • ‘I would spend $20/month for tethering if I could pick and choose which months I wanted.’
    • ‘While his wireless service is critical to his work, Ferrer said he would not want the monthly total cost to rise to $500 or more, and urged the carriers to start offering discounts, such as dropping a $30 monthly charge for tethering a cell phone to a laptop.’
    • ‘As an added bonus, you'll be picking up a charge while you're tethered to your computer.’


  • A rope or chain with which an animal is tied to restrict its movement.

    ‘regulations banning neck and girth tethers for sows’
    • ‘Producers have used two types of tethers (neck and girth); both of which restrict sow movement.’
    • ‘With sows kept in tethers in a stall, their movement is restricted with a belt around their torsos just behind the front legs or around the neck.’
    • ‘The use of specialized animal stalls and tethers is accepted as a science-based industry standard of management.’
    • ‘On closer inspection, he found a friction wound, blackened with scabs, on the back of Patch's neck and a chain tether, with a blue nylon rope, nearby.’
    • ‘Vieuille-Thomas et al. observed sows housed in tethers, stalls, and groups for the occurrence of stereotypic behaviors.’
    • ‘Selected European countries and the European Union have banned or are phasing out use of stalls and tethers for gestating sows.’
    • ‘It appears that the physiological data from a number of studies indicate the welfare of sows in stalls is equal to, or better than, that of sows in tethers or groups.’
    • ‘In contrast to moving from outdoors to neck tethers, moving from outdoors to indoor gestation pens or stalls did not inhibit litter size.’
    • ‘Stalls and tethers are systems of individual housing of sows that do not allow turning around; these systems allow only minimal social interactions among neighbors.’
    • ‘If enacted, the law might eliminate tethers and stalls for other classes of cattle.’
    • ‘In the rest of Europe - with the exception of Sweden, which has banned them - tethers and sow stalls can be used until 2006 and 2013 respectively.’
    • ‘Legislation banning the use of stalls and tethers in pig farming came into force in 1999.’
    • ‘In the rest of the world, for example, sow stalls and tethers, banned here, are still widely used.’
    • ‘Gregory turned from his parents' grave and walked back through and out of the barren house to his horse, the animal waiting patiently on its tether and barely visible against the forest shadows.’
    • ‘The animals fed and lay down next to their tethers.’
    • ‘He paused to dismount as well, tossing a thin tether to a man who took the animal away.’
    • ‘With bridle and saddle managed in one hand, Isabella released the gelding from his tether and stepped back, heading towards the tack room without waiting to confirm he returned to his stall.’
    rope, chain, cord, lead, leash
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Late Middle English from Old Norse tjóthr, from a Germanic base meaning ‘fasten’.