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wind (one's) way
To move or progress at a gradual pace along a twisting or circuitous path or route. Usually followed by a prepositional phrase or directional adverb, such as "along," "through," "across," etc. You'll have to wind your way through the forest to reach the river. The bus wound its way up the narrow mountain road. We've been winding our way along the East Coast to sample all the different local cuisine.
wind (one's) way through (something)
To move through some area or thing in a twisting or circuitous manner. It's going to take us a while to wind our way through the forest because of all the snow. Good luck winding your way through that crowd of people blocking the buffet.
wind (something) on (something)
To wrap, coil, or twist something around on something else. Please be sure to wind the cables back on the correct spools, or else they'll end up getting tangled. You've got to be careful when you wind the film on the reel for the first time.
wind (something) onto (something)
To wrap, coil, or twist something around on something else. Please be sure to wind the cables back onto the correct spools, or else they'll end up getting tangled. You've got to be careful when you wind the film onto the reel for the first time.
1. Of a path, trail, road, etc., to twist or turn in a circuitous or spiraling manner (along something). I thought I was going to get sick from the way the mountain road kept winding around. The trail winds around the side of the mountain, and it ends up at the bottom of a beautiful ravine.
2. To move or travel in a circuitous or indirect path so as to bypass or avoid someone or something. The swamp is too treacherous to go through, so we'll have to wind around it. He wound furtively around the police officers who were stationed at the intersection.
3. To twist, wrap, or coil around someone or something. Black smoke wound around the tower as the fire spread through its lower levels. The huge anaconda began winding around Tom, slowly squeezing the life out of him.
4. To twist, wrap, or coil something around someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "wind" and "around." He wound the cable around his arm and pulled as hard as he could. The plant winds its vines around the branches of the tallest trees to reach the sunshine above the canopy of the jungle.
1. To twist or turn around and face or go in the opposite direction. These small country roads keep winding back on themselves, so it has been taking us a lot longer to reach the cabin than I thought it would. My paper route goes all the way out to the edge of town before eventually winding back.
2. To set a dial or meter of some kind to an earlier position or reading. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "back." They were caught winding the electricity meter back to pay less than they owed. I forgot to wind back the clocks for daylight savings time and ended up oversleeping.
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.
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.
1. To draw someone or something toward oneself by reeling in a line. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "in." You'd better start winding in your lines so we can head in for shore. I kept the raft attached to the main boat with a rope so they could wind me in if I drifted too far away.
2. To wrap or encircle someone or something in something. A noun or pronoun is used between "wind" and "in." The spider wound the insect in webbing. The prophet's disciples wound him in cloth when he passed away and carried his body to the top of the holy mountain.
wind into (something)
1. To twist or coil into some shape. The cable automatically winds into a coil when you let go of it so that it won't become tangled. The wriggly worm wound into a curled-up mass in my palm.
2. To twist or coil something into a particular shape. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "wind" and "into." Please be sure to wind the hose into a tight loop when you're done to avoid kinks in the line.
3. To cause someone to enter a particular state or condition by subjecting them to some intense or unpleasant emotion or experience. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "wind" and "into." This whole process has been winding me into a bundle of nerves. The fringe politician has been winding a lot of people into a tizzy with her conspiracy theories and extremist rhetoric.
1. To uncoil, unwind, or unreel something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "off." We began winding off about 10 feet of cable. Don't wind the rope off until I give you the signal.
2. To provide someone with a length or amount of something by unwinding or unreeling it. A noun or pronoun is used between "wind" and "off." Wind me off a couple of feet of that twine, David.
To wrap, coil, or twist something around on something else. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "on." Please be sure to wind the cables back on the spools when you're done, or else they'll end up getting tangled. I wound on more copper wire to produce a stronger magnetic field.
wind through (something or some place)
1. Of a path, trail, road, etc., to stretch from one side of something and out another in a twisting or circuitous manner. There is a single trail winding through the treacherous mountains, but it becomes impassable during the winter. We followed a series of smaller side roads that wound through the Great Plains.
2. Of a path, trail, road, etc., to stretch among or between something in a twisting or circuitous manner. The path winds through the massive redwoods, giving visitors ample opportunity to appreciate their splendor. The kids' constant comings and goings created a makeshift footpath that wound through the tall grass behind their house.
3. To move or progress from one side of something and out another in a twisting or circuitous manner. We wound through the forest for several hours before we finally found our way back to the road. You'll have to wind your way through the marsh to reach the cabin.
4. To move or progress among or between something in a twisting or circuitous manner. I don't know how the waiters wind through the tables of people so quickly without spilling anything. The bike courier wound her way through the cars on the streets to deliver her package.
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 (around 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 a noun, the phrase is usually hyphenated ("wind-up"). Look at their pitcher's wind-up—do you think he's injured?
wind up (by) (doing something)
1. To take some course of action, perhaps reluctantly. Thanks to bad weather, we wound up by leaving our beach house ahead of schedule.
2. To conclude something with a particular action. Well, as usual, our family wound up by having a big fight after Thanksgiving dinner.
wind up in (something or some place)
To arrive some place or in some situation. The phrase implies 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.
wind up into (something)
1. To move up and into some place or area along a sinuous, twisting, or curving course. You'll have to follow the road for some time while it winds up into the hills.
2. To convey or deliver someone or something up and into some place or area along a sinuous, twisting, or curving course. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used before or after "up." The trail wound us up into the dense forest on the side of the mountain range.
3. To assume the shape or form of something as a result of twisting or coiling. These elastic cables wind up into a compact little ball when you release the tension on them.
4. To twist or coil something into a particular shape. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used before or after "up." I wound the wire up into a loop around my hand. Don't just wind up the rope into a big tangled mess like that! You need to do it neatly so we can unwind it again down the line.
5. To cause someone to enter an energetic or frenetic state. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used before or after "up." The politician's rhetoric was winding the crowd up into a frothing, bloodthirsty mob. She became like an entirely different person as the music wound her up into a frenzy of dancing and reckless abandon.
6. To cause someone to enter an anxious or agitated state. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used before or after "up." The thought of having to perform in front of a live audience wound me up into a ball of nerves and anxiety. The leaked memo from the chief financial officer has been winding up employees into a state of panic and uncertainty.
wind up with (someone or something)
1. To finally or eventually be with someone. I was really excited for the tour, but we wound up with the most boring guide on the planet. If you don't start dating more serious guys, you're going to wind up with a real doofus for a husband. He keeps deluding himself that he will wind up with Rosaline eventually, but she moved on from him years ago.
2. To come to acquire, possess, or experience something at the end or as a result of something else. I thought we'd find something valuable hidden away in our grandfather's attic, but we just wound up with a bunch of junk. I was afraid he would wind up with a stroke from all that strenuous activity. He's out of your league, Sally. You're just going to wind up with a broken heart if you keep pining after him like that.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
[for something, such as a road] to make a turn or turns around. The road wound around and ended up at the lake. The path wound around and came to a stop at the cabin door.
wind around someone or something
to twist or coil around someone or something. The python wound around the rabbit, suffocating it. The vines wound around the gatepost.
[for something, such as a road] to turn so that it heads in the direction from whence it came. The road we got lost on wound back and we were not able to reach the lake on time. When we were lost, we found a stream in the woods, but it wound back and did not lead us in the direction we wanted.
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.
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 around something
to twist or coil something around something. Wind this cloth around your hand to stop the bleeding. Wind the string around this stick so it won't get all tangled up.
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.
wind something in
to reel something in. She wound in the rope that was tied to the anchor. Liz wound in the cable that raised the awning.
wind something off
to unreel or unwind something. He wound the rope off, little by little, until he had as much as he needed. Karen wound off as much as she needed.
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.
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?
(somewhere) Go to end up (somewhere).
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Diminish gradually, draw to a close, as in By midnight the party had wound down. [Mid-1900s] Also see 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]
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.
To set some clock or counter to an earlier reading: Don't forget to wind your clock back for standard time. When he sold the car, he wound back the odometer to make the car seem newer.
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.
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.
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.