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1. verb Literally, to tighten the spring inside an item or device, as by twisting a knob. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "up." Let me try winding up your watch—maybe that will get it going again.
2. verb To cause someone or something to become more animated. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "up." Please don't wind the kids up right before bedtime.
3. verb To come to an end. The party wound up earlier than I'd expected, and I was in bed by 11.
4. verb To conclude something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "up." I was completely exhausted and decided to wind the party up early.
5. verb To cause someone to become anxious or agitated. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "up." Quit watching the news—it always winds you up.
6. verb To twist or coil something onto a particular surface or thing. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "up." The cat will keep playing with that yarn, unless you wind it up on the spool.
7. verb To cause someone to talk at length and with enthusiasm. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "up." Shakespeare just winds her up—she could talk about his tragedies for hours.
8. verb To settle or resolve something. After I inherited all that money, I tried to wind up some of my outstanding debts.
9. verb To reach a certain place or state. I didn't plan to go to the grocery store—I just wound up there after running some other errands. Few inventors wind up having the kind of success you're hoping for.
10. verb To twist or contort one's body in preparation for an athletic maneuver (as of a pitcher in baseball). As I watch their pitcher wind up, I can't help but wonder if he's injured.
11. noun The act of twisting or contorting one's body in preparation for an athletic maneuver (as of a pitcher in baseball). In this usage, the phrase is usually hyphenated ("wind-up"). Look at their pitcher's wind-up—do you think he's injured?
wind someone up
1. Inf. Fig. to get someone excited. That kind of music really winds me up!
2. . Inf. Fig. to get someone set to do a lot of talking. (Fig. on winding up a clock.) The excitement of the day wound Kelly up and she talked almost all night. A good movie tends to wind me up for a while.
wind something up
1. Lit. to tighten the spring in something, such as a watch or a clock. Please wind your watch up now—before it runs down. Wind up your watch before you forget.
2. Fig. to conclude something. Today we'll wind that deal up with the bank. I have a few items of business to wind up. Then I'll be with you.
wind up (as) something
to end up as something. Roger wound up as a millionaire. He thought he would wind up a pauper.
(somewhere) Go to end up (somewhere).
somehow to end up in some fashion. I don't want to wind up broke and depressed. You don't want to wind up like Ted, do you?
1. Come or bring to a finish, as in The party was winding up, so we decided to leave, or Let's wind up the meeting and get back to work. [Early 1800s] Also see wind down.
2. Put in order, settle, as in She had to wind up her affairs before she could move. [Late 1700s]
3. Arrive somewhere following a course of action, end up, as in We got lost and wound up in another town altogether, or If you're careless with your bank account, you can wind up overdrawn. [Colloquial; early 1900s]
1. To coil the spring of some mechanism completely by turning a stem or cord, for example: I wound up my alarm clock. If you wind this toy soldier up, it will march across the floor.
2. To coil something completely, as onto a spool or into a ball: He wound the excess string up into a ball. She wound up the cable around the rod.
3. To come to a finish; end: The meeting wound up at 9:00.
4. To bring something to a finish; end something: We need to wind up this project before January. This card game is fun, but let's wind it up before dinner.
5. To put something in order; settle something: She wound up her affairs before leaving the country.
6. To arrive in some place or situation after or because of a course of action: I took a long walk and wound up at the edge of town. If you spend too much money now, you'll wind up in debt.
7. To distress or perturb someone or something mentally or emotionally: Seeing those awful newspaper headlines really winds me up. The students are getting wound up about all the homework they have.
8. To twist the body in preparation to throw or hit: The soccer player wound up and shot the ball into the net.