AskDefine | Define tether

Dictionary Definition

tether n : restraint consisting of a rope (or light chain) used to restrain an animal [syn: leash, lead] v : tie with a tether; "tether horses"

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. a rope, cable etc. that holds something in place whilst allowing some movement
  2. In the context of "by extension": the limit of one's abilities, resources etc
  3. The cardinal number three in an old counting system used in Teesdale and Swaledale. (Variant of tethera)


a rope, cable etc. that holds something in place whilst allowing some movement
the limit of one's abilities, resources etc


to tether
  1. to restrict something with a tether


to restrict something with a tether

Extensive Definition

A tether is a cord that anchors something movable to a stationary point. There are a number of applications for tethers, but the primary use is limiting the movement of animals. This term is sometimes used in North America to describe using the Internet through a handheld or personal computer connected to a cell phone via a cable or Bluetooth DUN connection.

Uses for tethers

  • Animal husbandry, to tether a cow, goat, ox or horse by means of rope or chain. A means to restrict the area which an animal can graze.
  • Airbags: to prevent the airbag from inflating to too large of a volume.
  • Remote controlled cars, before the advent of Radio controlled cars
  • Ballooning: line to keep a balloon at a fixed distance from a point to limit drift.
  • Cellphones: to secure mobile devices in retail stores.
  • Child car seats: Most forward-facing child car seats for children weighing nine kilograms and over are equipped with a tether strap. The tether strap is located on the rear of the child car safety seat and has a hook. The hook is designed to attach the strap to the tether anchorage on the vehicle as specified by the vehicle manufacturer. Ensure the tether is only secured to the designated anchorage point(s) in the vehicle as specified by the manufacturer.
  • In cell biology, a tether (cell biology) is an elongated cylinder of a cell membrane.
  • Formula One: to secure wheels to chassis.
  • Economics: to regulate cost/benefit ratios.
  • Giant Inflatables: to secure giant inflatables.
  • House Arrest: electric monitoring device affixed to ankle in order to prevent travel outside of one's homestead.
  • Military: lanyard or "dummy cord" used to secure a piece of equipment to an anchor to prevent losing it.
  • Parachuting: line used to deploy a parachute automatically at a certain distance by attaching it to the aircraft. In military parachuting, this is called a "static line". Also, a line used in military parachuting to secure equipment to parachuters so to not interfere with landing, known as a "lowering line".
  • pacifier clip: to secure a pacifier to an infant or toddler.
  • Rock climbing and mountain climbing
  • ROVs
  • Ships: to secure crew from being blown overboard by heavy wind.
  • Sports: In the common children's game in which a ball is tethered to a pole, see Tetherball.
  • Tether satellites: Electrodynamic tethers & tether propulsion

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Oregon boat, anchor, batten, batten down, belay, bilbo, bind, bond, bonds, bridle, camisole, chain, chains, collar, cord, cuffs, enchain, entrammel, fasten, fasten down, fetter, gag, gyve, gyves, halter, hamper, handcuff, handcuffs, harness, hitch up, hobble, hobbles, hog-tie, hook up, hopple, hopples, irons, lash, lead, leading strings, leash, make fast, make secure, make sure, manacle, moor, muzzle, peg down, picket, pillory, pin down, pinion, put in irons, reins, restrain, restraint, restraints, rope, saddle, secure, shackle, stake, stocks, straightjacket, strait-waistcoat, straitjacket, stranglehold, strap, tie, tie down, tie up, trammel, trammels, yoke
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