小词详解 | tether

小词详解 | tether
tether 英 [ˈteðə(r)] 美 [ˈteðər]

SAT TEM8 GRE

外刊例句

  • What tethers reserve managers to the dollar is not quite as sinister.
    外汇储备管理机构和美元之间的羁绊倒没那么邪恶。
    ——《经济学人》
  • While Prince William, as the elder brother, has been tethered to the notion that he will succeed his father on the throne, Harry has had to find another path.
    长兄威廉王子一直同继承父亲王位紧密联系在一起,哈里只能走上另外的道路。
    ——《纽约时报》

基本释义

[verb] tie (an animal) with a rope or chain so as to restrict its movement
[动词] 用绳子或链条把(动物)拴起来以限制其活动

深入解读

Tether 一词原本是个名词,指“(拴牛、马等牲畜的)拴绳、拴链”,比如:

  • 我给母牛拴上拴绳。
    I put the cow on a tether.
  • 我用绳拴住我的母牛。
    I put a tether on my cow.

牲畜一旦被拴上绳链后,就只能在拴绳或拴链的长度范围之内活动,因此 tether 就被引申用于表示“(能力、行动、办法等的)限度、范围”,比如:

  • 这是我力所不及的。
    This is beyond my tether.

小站曾在 习语荟萃 | 如何用英语地道表达“同意”? 一文中提到 I've reached the end of my tether (我已经无计可施了)这个表达。试想一下,到达能力范围的最外沿时,没办法再往前进一步,可不就是无计可施了嘛。所以习语 at the end of one's tether 即表示“山穷水尽、走投无路、一筹莫展”,比如:

  • 她既忌妒又感到屈辱,感情上已经到了崩溃的边缘。
    She was jealous, humiliated, and emotionally at the end of her tether.
  • 他失业了,身无分文,到了山穷水尽的境地。
    He was out of work and broke, and he was at the end of his tether.

用作动词时, tether 自然表示“(用绳、链等)拴”或“限制、约束”,比如:

  • 军官下了马,把它拴到一棵树上。
    The officer dismounted, tethering his horse to a tree.
  • 她摆脱不了自己不再爱的男人。
    She was tethered to a man whom she no longer loved.

名人用例

Nae man can tether time or tide.
没有人能拴住时间或潮汐。

出自英国著名作家、布道家约翰·班扬(John Bunyan,1628年11月28日-1688年8月31日)。其著作《天路历程》(The Pilgrim's Progress)可谓是最著名的基督教寓言文学出版物。

同近义词

  • hitch: fasten or tether with a rope
  • bind: tie or fasten (something) tightly
  • fetter: restrain with chains or manacles, typically around the ankles
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