tie [transitive] to attach or hold two or more things together using string, rope, etc.; to fasten

somebody/something with string, rope, etc.

tie something + adv./prep. She tied the newspapers in a bundle.

He had to tie her hands together.

They tied him to a chair with cable.

I tie back my hair when I'm cooking.

The box was tied with plastic string.

His hands were tied behind his back.

tie something Shall I tie the package or tape it?

wrap [transitive] wrap something around/round something/somebody to put something around something/somebody

A scarf was wrapped around his neck.

The nurse wrapped a bandage tightly around my ankle.

His arms were wrapped around her waist.

He wrapped his arms tightly around her waist.

He wrapped his hands around my neck and tried to strangle me.

She's got a towel wrapped around her head.

My kid did this today (see the picture)

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What should I say?

Why did you tie your finger with a rubber band?

Why did you tie a rubber band on your finger?

Why did you wrap a rubber band around your finger?

1 Answer 1


Although the definition doesn't say so, tie usually implies using something with two ends which are tied in a knot or bow. Wrap (or just put) would be more appropriate for a closed band.

  • In the dictionary "I tie my hair" so I think I can imitate it by saying "to tie my finger" but not sure it makes sense
    – Tom
    Mar 27, 2020 at 9:18
  • @Tom I'd say "tie" actually has two distinct meanings: (1) to fasten two ends of something together ("tie a ribbon around something"), and (2) to bind/fasten multiple things together with something around them ("tie one's hair"). In some cases they overlap, but the first meaning requires ends to tie together, and the second requires multiple things being held together. The example of the rubber band and a finger doesn't work for (1) because there aren't ends, and doesn't work for (2) because there's only one finger, not multiple things, which is why "tie" can't be used in that case.
    – Foogod
    Mar 28, 2020 at 21:36

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