lock up

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See also: lockup and lock-up


Alternative forms[edit]


lock + up


lock up (third-person singular simple present locks up, present participle locking up, simple past and past participle locked up)

  1. (transitive) to imprison or incarcerate someone
    • 2020 July 23, Chris Daw, “A stain on national life': why are we locking up so many children?”, in The Guardian[1]:
      In 1970, a new era of “getting tough” on young offenders really began to gather momentum with the incoming Conservative government. The number of juveniles locked up each year increased by 500% between 1965 and 1980.
  2. (transitive) to invest in something long term
  3. (intransitive) to close all doors and windows of a place securely
  4. (intransitive, computing) to cease responding, to freeze
  5. (intransitive, mechanics) to stop moving, to seize
  6. To lose one's forward momentum, to freeze.
  7. (intransitive, motor racing) To (mistakenly) cause or have one of one's tyres or tires to lock up (stop spinning).
    • 2019 September 8, Andrew Benson, BBC Sport[2]:
      Twelve laps later, Leclerc locked up at the first chicane and clattered over the run-off area. Again, Hamilton got a run on him, and this time Leclerc defended robustly through the flat-out Curva Grande, moving very late to block Hamilton to the Ferrari's left.
  8. (intransitive, boating) to travel through a flight of locks on a waterway in an uphill direction
    Antonym: lock down


Related terms[edit]