cramp up

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cramp up

1. To begin to experience muscle cramps. Whoa, I need to rest for a minute—my leg is cramping up.
2. To cause one to begin to experience muscle cramps. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cramp" and up." I need to get some water—dehydration is starting to cramp me up.
3. To squeeze or force someone or something into an overly small space. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cramp" and up." Every time you try to cramp up more stuff in this closet, it all comes crashing down on me the next time I open it. Don't leave the dog cramped up in his cage all day!
See also: cramp, up

cramp up

v.
1. To suffer muscle cramps: I cramped up while swimming today.
2. To cause someone or something to suffer muscle cramps: That lousy meal cramped me up.
3. To squeeze something tightly into a restrictive space or position: There are too many subjects cramped up together under the same heading. I was cramped up in the back seat of a compact car for hours.
See also: cramp, up
References in classic literature ?
Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don't.
Trott cramped up in his arms and legs after moving past 50 against the Diamond Eagles on a blisteringly hot day here in Bloemfontein.
``I cramped up in my legs in the final here and now I am cramping up in the arms, so I will have to discover the reasons and see whether it is a dietary thing.''