or wind-up

[ wahynd-uhp ]
See synonyms for windup on
  1. the conclusion of any action, activity, etc.; the end or close.

  2. a final act or part.

  1. Baseball. the preparatory movements of the arm before pitching a ball.: Compare stretch (def. 22).

  2. Informal. a mechanical object, as a toy or wristwatch, that is driven by a spring or similar mechanism that must be wound.

  3. an act or instance of winding up.

Origin of windup

First recorded in1565–75; noun use of verb phrase wind up Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use windup in a sentence

  • I understood, Mr. Clifton, that you were the solicitor employed to wind up the affairs of the late Mr. Antony Clifton.

    First Plays | A. A. Milne
  • It would have been nice to see Meadows wind up rich, or for Howlet to become mayor of the dome, but what could I do?

    Fee of the Frontier | Horace Brown Fyfe
  • "That—that is the wind-up," said the poor Nabob, who could not help laughing, though it was a very piteous and bitter laugh.

    The Nabob | Alphonse Daudet
  • In the course of a sermon he will give you three or four perorations, and sometimes wind up without treating you to one.

  • If the reel is made to wind up 4 ft. of line to each revolution and the sash-cord shaft is 3/4 in.

British Dictionary definitions for wind up

wind up

/ (waɪnd) /

  1. to bring to or reach a conclusion: he wound up the proceedings

  2. (tr) to tighten the spring of (a clockwork mechanism)

  1. (tr; usually passive) informal to make nervous, tense, etc; excite: he was all wound up before the big fight

  2. (tr) to roll (thread, etc) into a ball

  3. an informal word for liquidate (def. 2)

  4. (intr) informal to end up (in a specified state): you'll wind up without any teeth

  5. (tr; usually passive) to involve; entangle: they were wound up in three different scandals

  6. (tr) to hoist or haul up

  7. (tr) British slang to tease (someone)

  1. the act of concluding

  2. the finish; end

  1. British slang an act or instance of teasing: she just thinks it's a big wind-up

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with windup


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.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.