winding


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wind back the clock

To go back in time. If I could wind back the clock, I'd manage my finances better so that I wouldn't be declaring bankruptcy now. I wish I could wind back the clock and study harder before that exam I failed.
See also: back, clock, wind

wind up in

To arrive someplace or in some situation, with the sense that getting there was not planned. My brother is a very spontaneous traveler and just spends his time in whatever country he winds up in! We had some time to kill before the concert, so we walked around and wound up in a coffee shop.
See also: up, wind

wind down

1. To slow and near an ending. Our field hockey practice usually winds down with some gentle stretches.
2. To cause something to slow and near an ending. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "down." We'll wind down our practice with some gentle stretches.
See also: down, wind

wind up

1. verb To tighten the spring inside an item or device, as by twisting a knob. 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 twist or coil something onto a particular surface or thing. 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.
3. verb To cause someone or something to become more animated. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "up." Please don't wind the kids up right before bedtime.
4. verb To come to an end. The party wound up earlier than I'd expected, and I was in bed by 11.
5. verb To conclude something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "up." I was completely exhausted and decided to wind up the party early. Wind it up, guys. We need to get going.
6. verb To cause someone to become anxious or agitated. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "up." Quit watching the news—it always winds you up.
7. verb To cause someone to talk for a long time and with enthusiasm about a topic they are passionate about. 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. I saw her winding up to hit him, so I tried to intervene before she did.
11. noun The act of twisting or contorting one's body in preparation for an athletic maneuver (as of a pitcher in baseball). As as noun, the phrase is usually hyphenated ("wind-up"). Look at their pitcher's wind-up—do you think he's injured?
See also: up, wind

wind down

to start running or operating slower. Things will begin to wind down at the end of the summer. As things wind down, life will be a lot easier. The clock wound down and finally stopped.
See also: down, wind

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.
See also: up, wind

wind something down

to slow something down; to make something less hectic. Let's wind this party down and try to get people to go home. It's really late. We tried to wind down the party, but it kept running.
See also: down, wind

wind something up

 
1. Lit. to tighten the spring in something, such as a watch or a clock. Please wind your watch up nowbefore 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.
See also: up, wind

wind up (as) something

to end up as something. Roger wound up as a millionaire. He thought he would wind up a pauper.
See also: up, wind

wind up

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?
See also: up, wind

wind up

(somewhere) Go to end up (somewhere).
See also: up, wind

wind down

Diminish gradually, draw to a close, as in By midnight the party had wound down. [Mid-1900s] Also see wind up.
See also: down, wind

wind up

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]
See also: up, wind

wind down

v.
1. To diminish gradually in energy, intensity, or scope: The party wound down as guests began to leave.
2. To cause something to diminish in energy, intensity, or scope: We should wind down this meeting and go home. The discussions have been interesting, but now it's time to wind them down and go home.
See also: down, wind

wind up

v.
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.
See also: up, wind