wind up

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See also: windup and wind-up



  • IPA(key): /waɪnd ˈʌp/
  • (file)


wind up (plural wind ups)

  1. Alternative form of wind-up


wind up (third-person singular simple present winds up, present participle winding up, simple past and past participle wound up)

  1. (literally, transitive) To wind completely.
    I wound up the spool of rope.
  2. (intransitive, copulative) To end up; to arrive or result.
    • 2017 July 16, Brandon Nowalk, “Chickens and dragons come home to roost on Game Of Thrones (newbies)”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      The Hound’s afraid to go in. Maybe he’s afraid the occupants will tell on him, but Beric points out that there’s no smoke in the chimney or livestock in the yard, so it’s probably deserted. It’s not. Inside are the decaying corpses of the farmer and his little girl, in bed together with a knife on the floor. Beric CSIs that they were starving to death, so the man ended the suffering for both of them. And they might not have wound up that way if they hadn’t met the Hound.
    • 2013 January 1, Brian Hayes, “Father of Fractals”, in American Scientist[2], volume 101, number 1, page 62:
      Toward the end of the war, Benoit was sent off on his own with forged papers; he wound up working as a horse groom at a chalet in the Loire valley. Mandelbrot describes this harrowing youth with great sangfroid.
    I followed the signs, and I wound up getting nowhere.
  3. (transitive) To conclude, complete, or finish (something).
    Even though he had bad news, he tried to wind up his speech on a positive note.
    • 2020 September 1, Tom Lamont, “The butcher's shop that lasted 300 years (give or take)”, in The Guardian[3]:
      In late April, residents were sent a blunt letter telling them that the town’s ancient market, which had stopped because of the pandemic, and which really did date back to the reign of Queen Anne, would be wound up.
  4. (transitive) To tighten (someone or something) by winding or twisting.
    The movie wound me up emotionally.
    Your pocket watch will run for a long time if you wind up the spring all the way.
  5. (transitive) To put (a clock, a watch, etc.) in a state of renewed or continued motion, by winding the spring, or that which carries the weight.
    • 1922, Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit
      Their feet padded softly on the ground, and they crept quite close to him, twitching their noses, while the Rabbit stared hard to see which side the clockwork stuck out, for he knew that people who jump generally have something to wind them up. But he couldn't see it. They were evidently a new kind of rabbit altogether.
  6. (transitive) To excite.
    Try not to wind up the kids too much right before bedtime.
  7. (Britain, transitive) To play a prank (on), to take the mickey (out of) or mock.
    Twenty quid? Are you winding me up?
  8. (transitive) To upset; to anger or distress.
    • 2019, Daniel Taylor, Lionel Messi magic puts Barcelona in command of semi-final with Liverpool (in The Guardian, 1 May 2019)[4]
      Of all their regrets, it was their inability to score an away goal that might wind up Klopp the most. Sadio Mané wasted a glorious chance in the first half and, late on, Mohamed Salah turned his shot against a post after a goal-line clearance had spun his way.
  9. (transitive) To dissolve a partnership or corporation and liquidate its assets.
  10. (baseball, intransitive) To make the preparatory movements for a certain kind of pitch.

Derived terms[edit]