Ride the Tide and man riding surfboard

Ride the Tide [Definition + Examples]

Hello dear English learners. Ready for another exciting lesson today? Today, I am going to tell you everything about the idiom “ride the tide”. Follow me to learn more about this useful idiom here. Let’s begin!


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Literal meaning

I want to begin with the definitions of the words used in this idiom; the words “ride” and “tide”.

Ride (verb)

Riding bikes

Meaning: to sit on something such as a bicycle, motorcycle, or horse and travel along on it controlling its movements
Example 1: I learned to ride a bike when I was six.
Example 2: I ride my moped to work.
Example 3: Their daughter is learning to ride.

Tide (noun)

Ocean tides come in with small waves

Meaning: the rise and fall of the ocean that happens twice every day:
Example 1: Most people are completely clueless about tide directions and weather conditions.
Example 2: The tide comes in very quickly here and you can soon find yourself stranded.
Example 3: Is the tide coming in or going out?
Example 4: You can only see the beach when the tide is out.
Example 5: The boat was swept out to sea by the tide.
From the definitions above it is clear that “ride the tide” in its literal meaning means ‘to be floating on the force of the tide or to be swept away by the tide”. Now that you learned the actual meanings of this phrase, it’s time to learn the idiomatic meaning of “ride the tide”. The meaning of this idiom and a few sample sentences are provided for you in the following section.

Idiomatic meaning

Ride the tide (idiom)

Ride the tide on a blue background

Meaning: to go along with circumstances

Example 1: She didn’t have any money but they wanted her to go with them so she decided to ride the tide of their generosity.

Example 2: The best markets and the best companies ride the tide of history.

Grammatical points

In order to use this idiom in a sentence, you need to use the preposition “of” after the phrase and then you need to mention the word that “tide” actually refers to.
In the following, I have provided a list of sample sentences in which “ride the tide” is used. Below each sentence, the source of the quote is mentioned. Notice that in a few of these examples, “ride the tide” is used in the literal meaning.

Sample sentences

You can’t turn back the clock, so go with the flow and ride the tide.

I can think no longer of what to do except to ride the tide of events.

And just ride the tide out to sea. (Literal meaning)

It pulsed up under his fingers and escaped, riding the tide of his heartbeat out in hot spurts.

At that moment, the communist movement appeared to be riding the tide of history, and not only for those in the Soviet Union.

Best to sail up the coast a little, or rather, ride the tide, and then dock if we can. (Literal meaning)

I ride with the tide.

The ship was a good two miles down the Port, riding the current and tide. (Literal meaning)

Creideiki let out a warbling whistle of despair as he tried to ride the crashing tide.

Successful sailors and fishers learn to ride the waves and tides and to use the winds and currents in order to safely go where they need to go.

After Stevens left Decca Records, they bundled his first two albums together as a set, hoping to ride the commercial tide of his early success; later his newer labels did the same, and he himself released compilations.


Jasco was riding a tide of speculation, but the press conference that just wrapped up turned out to be less than positive.

I want to make sure they take the right tide so that I can ride that tide all the way to the end of this game that I love so dearly.

Riding the tide of goodwill, United made it through to Wembley where they met Bolton Wanderers in the final.
ParaCrawl Corpus

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20 points about using Ride the Tide

  1. “Ride the Tide” is a metaphorical phrase meaning to go with the flow or adapt to changing circumstances.
  2. This expression implies staying flexible and agile in response to challenges or opportunities.
  3. Using “Ride the Tide” can help you embrace uncertainty and navigate unpredictable situations.
  4. It encourages resilience and adaptability in the face of adversity or change.
  5. “Ride the Tide” suggests riding the wave of momentum or progress in a given situation.
  6. It can imply taking advantage of positive developments or trends.
  7. This phrase can be used to convey a sense of optimism and confidence in overcoming obstacles.
  8. It can serve as a reminder to stay calm and composed during turbulent times.
  9. “Ride the Tide” encourages a proactive attitude towards change rather than resisting it.
  10. It can be a mantra for letting go of control and trusting the process.
  11. Using this expression can inspire creativity and innovation in problem-solving.
  12. “Ride the Tide” can be a motivational message to keep moving forward despite setbacks.
  13. It can symbolize the idea of going with the natural flow of life and embracing its ups and downs.
  14. This phrase can be interpreted as a call to stay present and focused on the present moment.
  15. It can be a metaphor for surfing through life’s challenges with grace and resilience.
  16. “Ride the Tide” emphasizes the importance of being adaptable and open to change.
  17. It reminds us that nothing is permanent and that circumstances are constantly evolving.
  18. Using this expression can help shift perspective from feeling overwhelmed to feeling empowered.
  19. It can be a source of inspiration to ride out difficult times with strength and determination.
  20. Ultimately, “Ride the Tide” encourages a mindset of flexibility, tenacity, and growth in navigating life’s journey.

More quotes including “ride the tide”

Ride the tide Quotes

Here, I have provided for you some examples of the use of “ride the tide” in the quotes of famous news agencies in the world.

1.“The Resolution report, released on Tuesday, said that borrowers had benefitted from record low interest rates and most would be able to ride the tide of gradually rising borrowing costs.”-The Guardian – Business

2.“To get there, he will need to ride the tide of Taiwanese identity with skill and some caution.”-The Economist

3.“The best markets and the best companies ride the tide of history.”-TechCrunch

4.“Just in time to ride the tide of excitement from today’s G1 announcement, Google has released a video detailing all of the “google goodies that come preloaded” on the handset: Search, Maps, Gmail, Contacts, Calendar, and IM (Google Talk), with a strong emphasis on the over-the-air sync functionality.”-TechCrunch

5.“Many borrowers have enjoyed spectacular savings over recent years, with mortgage rates falling to historic lows, and most will be able to ride the tide of gradually rising interest rates,” said Matthew Whittaker, chief economist at the Resolution Foundation and author of the report.”-BBC

6.“Looking to get in before any noise that the show might generate and possibly ride the tide of their absolutely monstrous merger with T-Mobile, AT&T has just announced that they’re picking up two new toys: the Windows Phone 7 powered HD7S, and the Android-powered, glasses-free 3D-enabled LG Thrill 4G.”-TechCrunch

Concluding note

So, today I told you everything you need to know about the idiom “ride the tide”. I told you about its literal as well as its idiomatic meaning.

I also provided famous quotes including this phrase for you so you understand better how to use it in a sentence. Now that you have learned the meaning and usage of this idiom and realized how to use it in a sentence, try to make your own sentences with it.

You can write your sample sentences here for me to review. I’ll be here to correct your mistakes if needed. I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Visit my page for more interesting English lessons.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does “Ride the Tide” mean?

“Ride the Tide” is a metaphorical phrase that means to adapt to changing circumstances, go with the flow, or embrace and navigate through challenges or opportunities.


  • Can you provide an example of when to use “Ride the Tide”?

Sure! If someone is facing unexpected changes at work, you might say, “It’s important to stay flexible and ride the tide during times of transition.”


  • How does using “Ride the Tide” differ from resisting change?

Using “Ride the Tide” means accepting and adapting to change, while resisting change involves fighting against it or trying to maintain the status quo.


  • Why is it important to “Ride the Tide” in various situations?

Riding the tide allows individuals to remain resilient, adaptable, and open to new possibilities, leading to personal growth and development.


  • In what contexts can the phrase “Ride the Tide” be applied?

This phrase can be applied in personal, professional, and even social contexts where flexibility and adaptability are key to navigating challenges.


  • How can “Ride the Tide” be a source of motivation for individuals?

It can be a reminder to stay positive, keep moving forward, and make the best of changing circumstances instead of being overwhelmed by them.

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