The Dude Abides – Meaning, Origin & Usage (+11 Examples)

One source of great quotes is films. Lines such as “Hasta la vista baby” and “Luke, I am your father” have gone down history as some of the most memorable quotes of all time.

But what about “The Dude Abides?

The Dude Abides – Meaning And Origin

“The dude abides” means that the dude always lives in a state of dudeness. He doesn’t worry about anything and he just accepts life for what it is. It’s from the movie “The big Lebowski” when “the dude’s” friend says to him “Take it easy dude, I know you will”.

The Dude Abides - Meaning And Origin
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“The Dude Abides” Is From The Big Lebowski

The Big Lebowski is a comedy crime film. It combines the best parts of a crime thriller with the hilarity of a comedy movie.

“The dude” often speaks in the third person. He’s an incredibly laid back man who doesn’t have a care in the world.

Within the film, he is one day mistaken for a millionaire and decides to use his new status to get his ruined rug paid for. I know that sounds like such a simple yet bizarre concept, but the bottom line is, it works, and it’s very funny.

“The Dude Abides” In The Context Of The Movie

When the dude says “the dude abides”, he’s saying it in response to his bowling partner telling him “take it easy dude, I know that you will”

When first watching the movie, it would be easy to think that what’s happening is the dude is telling his friend that he is going to obey him, and “take it easy”.

His friend knows that the dude always takes it easy, but he’s saying it anyway, just as a formality.

The dude is replying by letting him know “I will obey you, and I will take it easy”.

“The Dude Abides”- What It Really Means

However, if you’re the kind of person to watch films with a critical thinking mind, you might notice that “the dude abides” has a deeper meaning.

On the surface, the dude is saying “I will obey you” to his friend. But dig a little deeper, and look into what kind of person “the dude” is, and it becomes clear that what he really means is that he tolerates life.

“The dude abides” is not just a response to the statement, it’s also a statement about his philosophy to life. It’s carefree, relaxed, and happy. He isn’t abiding “take it easy”, he’s abiding life itself.

The Five Definitions Of “Abide”

To understand what he means when he says “the dude abides”, it’s helpful to understand what “abide” means. Much like many words, “abide” has five related but slightly different definitions.

  • Accept or act in accordance with something
    The dude abides by the law.

  • Tolerate
    The dude abides his landlord asking for money once a month.

  • A memory that continues being remembered.
    The dude’s memory of childhood will abide.

  • Remain stable in your love for God.
    The dude abides because of his Christian upbringing.

  • Dwell
    The dude abides in an apartment.

Abide With Me- Here’s What The Hymn Is Saying

One of the most common phrases with “abide” in it is the hymn “abide with me”. This hymn is probably one of the most well known because the English football team and fans often sing it at the beginning of matches.

But, even most Englishmen don’t know what they’re singing.

In this sense, to “abide” means to walk with God. So when people say “abide with me” they’re inviting everyone- the players and fans on both sides- to walk with God.

It’s their way of saying “we may be opponents on the pitch, but we’re brother’s in God”.

13 Examples Of “The Dude Abides”

  1. “Take it easy dude. I know you will”
    “The dude abides”

  2. “What does the dude do all day?”
    “The dude abides”

  3. “How would you describe your general approach to life?”
    “The dude abides”
    “Is that healthy?”
    “I don’t know”

  4. “Why does he spend all day playing video games and not doing his homework?”
    “The dude abides”

  5. “Can we order another drink? I wanna get drunk tonight”
    “The dude abides”

  6. “Try not to drink too much tonight. I don’t want to have to carry you home”
    “The dude abides”

  7. “Take it easy when you get back home. You’ve just come out of the hospital”

    “The dude abides”

  8. “What’s your favourite line from a comedy film?”
    “The dude abides”

  9. “What’s something you learnt about Plato during philosophy class?”
    “The dude abides”

  10. “Why did you pass up the chance to go to the moon?”
    “The dude abides”

  11. “I like that you just live here with your plants and your cats
    “What can I say? The dude abides”

  12. “Who did you say abides?”

    “The dude abides”

  13. “‘The dude abides’ was once thought to mean nothing. But today, there have been philosophy classes taught over that one line”

Common Phrases With “Abide”

As well as “the dude abides” there are other common phrases that use the word “abide”. Because it’s a bit of an old fashioned word, common phrases are the main way it stays alive.

  • I will abide by this decision
    I will accept and follow through a decision (usually handed down by a judge)

  • Abide with me
    Walk with God with me

  • I will abide with her until I day.
    I will stay with her until I die

  • The Abide Guide
    The title of a self-help book.


And that is what we mean when we say “the dude abides”.

It originally comes from “The big Lebowski”, a comedy movie about the most laid back man you could imagine. He’s saying it in response to his friend telling him to “take it easy”. On the surface, it seems like he means that he will obey his friend. In actuality, it’s more likely to mean that whatever life throws at him, he’s just going to tolerate it.

But, you could use “the dude abides” in your life. Next time you worry about a lot of things, try to be like “the dude”, and just abide.

It’s not a bad philosophy.