lock up(redirected from lock (someone or an animal) up)
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1. To lock something in a container or storage space. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "lock" and "up." It's very important that dangerous cleaning products are locked up when your children start crawling around the house. I locked our valuables up in a wall-mounted safe before we left for our vacation.
2. To incarcerate someone in some place, especially prison, indefinitely or for a very long time. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "lock" and "up." I hope they lock that crazy drunk driver up—he nearly killed me! In the old days, they'd lock you up for showing the symptoms of schizophrenia.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
lock someone or something up (somewhere)
to lock someone or something within something or some place. The captain ordered the sailor locked up in the brig until the ship got into port. Don't lock me up! The sheriff locked up the crook in a cell.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Close a house or place of work, fastening all the doors and windows, as in The attendant locks up at eleven o'clock every night, or Did you remind Abby to lock up? [Late 1500s]
2. Invest in something not easily converted into cash, as in Most of their assets were locked up in real estate. [Late 1600s]
3. lock someone up. Confine or imprison someone, as in The princes were locked up in the Tower of London. [c. 1300]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To shut or make something secure with or as if with locks: We locked the house up and went on vacation. I locked up my bike and went into the store. The owner locks up every day at 5:00.
2. To confine or exclude something or someone by or as if by means of a lock: We locked up the dog for the night. The guards locked the criminal up in the cell. All our savings are locked up in a retirement account.
3. To become fixed in place so that movement or escape is impossible; be immobilized: I was so nervous that my knees locked up and I couldn't walk. The car's brakes locked up, and it skidded to a halt.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.